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Full text of "Country reports on human rights practices : report submitted to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives and Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate by the Department of State in accordance with sections 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended"

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lOOth  Congress      , 

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COUNTRY  REPORTS  ON  HUMAN  RIGHTS 
PRACTICES  FOR  1987 


REPORT 

SUBMITTED  TO  THE 

COMMITTEE  ON  FOREIGN  AFFAIRS 
HOUSE  OF  REPRESENTATIVES 

AND  THE 

COMMITTEE  ON  FOREIGN  RELATIONS 
U.S.  SENATE 

BY  THE 

DEPARTMENT  OF  STATE 

IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  SECTIONS  116(d)  AND  502B(b)  OF  THE 
FOREIGN  ASSISTANCE  ACT  OF  1961,  AS  AMENDED 


FEBRUARY  1987 


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100th  Congress      , 

2d  Session  '  JOINT  COMMITTEE  PRINT 


COUNTRY  REPORTS  ON  HUMAN  RIGHTS 
PRACTICES  FOR  1987 


REPORT 

SUBMITTED  TO  THE 

COMMITTEE  ON  FOREIGN  AFFAIRS 
HOUSE  OF  REPRESENTATIVES 

AND  THE 

COMMITTEE  ON  FOREIGN  RELATIONS 
U.S.  SENATE 

BY  THE 

DEPARTMENT  OF  STATE 

IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  SECTIONS  116(d)  AND  502B(b)  OF  THE 
FOREIGN  ASSISTANCE  ACT  OF  1961,  AS  AMENDED 


FEBRUARY  1987 


Printed  for  the  use  of  the  Committees  on  Foreign  Affairs  and  Foreign 
Relations  of  the  House  of  Representatives  and  the  Senate  respectively 


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COMMITTEE  ON  FOREIGN  AFFAIRS 
DANTE  B.  FASCELL,  Florida,  Chairman 


LEE  H.  HAMILTON,  Indiana 

GUS  YATRON,  Pennsylvania 

STEPHEN  J.  SOLARZ,  New  York 

DON  BONKER,  Washington 

GERRY  E.  STUDDS,  Massachusetts 

DAN  MICA,  Florida 

HOWARD  WOLPE,  Michigan 

GEO.  W.  CROCKETT,  Jr.,  Michigan 

SAM  GEJDENSON,  Connecticut 

MERVYN  M.  DYMALLY,  California 

TOM  LANTOS,  California 

PETER  H.  KOSTMAYER.  Pennsylvania 

ROBERT  G.  TORRICELLI,  New  Jersey 

LAWRENCE  J.  SMITH,  Florida 

HOWARD  L.  BERMAN,  California 

MEL  LEVINE,  California 

EDWARD  F.  FEIGHAN,  Ohio 

TED  WEISS,  New  York 

GARY  L.  ACKERMAN,  New  York 

MORRIS  K.  UDALL,  Arizona 

CHESTER  G.  ATKINS,  Massachusetts 

JAMES  McCLURE  CLARKE,  North  Carolina 

JAIME  B.  FUSTER,  Puerto  Rico 

JAMES  H.  BILBRAY,  Nevada 

WAYNE  OWENS,  Utah 

FOFO  I.F.  SUNIA,  American  Samoa 


WILLIAM  S.  BROOMFIELD,  Michigan 
BENJAMIN  A.  OILMAN,  New  York 
ROBERT  J.  LAGOMARSINO,  California 
JIM  LEACH,  Iowa 
TOBY  ROTH,  Wisconsin 
OLYMPIA  J.  SNOWE,  Maine 
HENRY  J.  HYDE,  Illinois 
GERALD  B.H.  SOLOMON,  New  York 
DOUG  BEREUTER,  Nebraska 
ROBERT  K.  DORNAN,  California 
CHRISTOPHER  H.  SMITH,  New  Jersey 
CONNIE  MACK,  Florida 
MICHAEL  DeWINE,  Ohio 
DAN  BURTON,  Indiana 
JAN  MEYERS,  Kansas 
JOHN  MILLER,  Washington 
DONALD  E.  "BUZ"  LUKENS,  Ohio 
BEN  BLAZ,  Guam 


John  J.  Brady,  Jr.,  Chief  of  Staff 
Steven  K.  Berry,  Minority  Staff  Director 


JOSEPH  R.  BIDEN,  Jr.,  Delaware 
PAUL  S.  SARBANES,  Maryland 
ALAN  CRANSTON,  California 
CHRISTOPHER  J.  DODD,  Connecticut 
JOHN  F.  KERRY,  Massachusetts 
PAUL  SIMON,  Illinois 
TERRY  SANFORD,  North  Carolina 
BROCK  ADAMS,  Washington 
DANIEL  P.  MOYNIHAN,  New  York 


COMMITTEE  ON  FOREIGN  RELATIONS 

CLAIBORNE  PELL,  Rhode  Island,  Chairman 


JESSE  HELMS,  North  Carolina 
RICHARD  G.  LUGAR,  Indiana 
NANCY  L.  KASSEBAUM,  Kansas 
RUDY  BOSCHWITZ,  Minnesota 
LARRY  PRESSLER,  South  Dakota 
FRANK  H.  MURKOWSKI,  Alaska 
PAUL  S.  TRIBLE,  Jr.,  Virginia 
DANIEL  J.  EVANS,  Washington 
MITCH  McCONNELL,  Kentucky 


Geryld  B.  Christianson,  Staff  Director 
James  P.  Lucier,  Minority  Staff  Director 


(II) 


FOREWORD 


The  country  reports  on  human  rights  practices  contained  herein 
were  prepared  by  the  Department  of  State  in  accordance  with  sec- 
tions 116(d)  and  502B(b)  of  the  Foreign  Assistance  Act  of  1961,  as 
amended.  They  also  fulfill  the  legislative  requirements  of  section 
31  of  the  Bretton  Woods  Agreements  Act  and  section  505(c)  of  the 
Trade  Act  of  1974,  as  amended. 

The  reports  cover  the  human  rights  practices  of  all  nations  that 
receive  U.S.  foreign  assistance  as  well  as  those  nations  that  do  not 
but  are  members  of  the  United  Nations.  They  are  printed  to  assist 
Members  of  Congress  in  the  consideration  of  legislation. 

Dante  B.  Fascell, 
Chairman,  Committee  on  Foreign  Affairs. 
Claiborne  Pell, 
Chairman,  Committee  on  Foreign  Relations. 

(Ill) 


LETTER  OF  TRANSMITTAL 


Department  of  State, 
Washington,  DC,  January  29,  1988. 
Hon.  Claiborne  Pell, 

Chairman,  Committee  on  Foreign  Relations, 
Hon.  Jim  Wright, 
Speaker,  House  of  Representatives. 

Dear  Sirs:  I  have  the  distinct  honor  to  present  the  report  pre- 
pared in  compliance  with  sections  116(d)(1)  and  502B(b)  of  the  For- 
eign Assistance  Act  of  1961,  as  amended,  and  section  505(c)  of  the 
Trade  Act  of  1974,  as  amended. 
With  best  wishes, 
Sincerely, 

J.  Edward  Fox, 
Assistant  Secretary  Legislative  Affairs. 
Enclosure. 

(V) 


CONTENTS 


Page 

Foreword iii 

Letter  of  Transmittal v 

Introduction 1 

Africa: 

Angola 6 

Benin 13 

Botswana 18 

Burkina  Faso 24 

Burundi 30 

Cameroon 38 

Cape  Verde 45 

Central  African  Republic 51 

Chad 57 

Comoros 64 

Congo 69 

Cote  d  Ivoire 76 

Djibouti 83 

Equatorial  Guinea 90 

Ethiopia 96 

Gabon 107 

Gambia,  The 113 

Ghana 119 

Guinea 126 

Guinea-Bissau 131 

Kenya 136 

Lesotho 146 

Liberia 153 

Madagascar 163 

Malawi 169 

Mali 176 

Mauritania 182 

Mauritius 190 

Mozambique 195 

Namibia 205 

Niger 215 

Nigeria 221 

Rwanda 233 

Sao  Tome  and  Principe 240 

Senegal 244 

Seychelles 251 

Sierra  Leone 257 

Somalia 263 

South  Africa 270 

Sudan 293 

Swaziland 304 

Tanzania 312 

Togo 322 

Uganda 330 

Zaire 339 

Zambia 349 

Zimbabwe 356 

Central  and  South  Africa: 

Antigua  and  Barbuda 367 

(VII) 


VIII 

Page 

Central  and  South  Africa — Continued 

Argentina 371 

Bahamas 378 

Barbados 382 

Belize 386 

Bolivia 391 

Brazil 398 

Chile 407 

Colombia 426 

Costa  Rica 436 

Cuba 441 

Dominica 454 

Dominican  Republic 458 

Ecuador 465 

El  Salvador 474 

Grenada 489 

Guatemala 494 

Guyana 503 

Haiti 510 

Honduras 521 

Jamaica 532 

Mexico 540 

Nicaragua 548 

Panama 563 

Paraguay 574 

Peru 586 

St.  Christopher  and  Nevis 598 

St.  Lucia 601 

St.  Vincent  and  the  Grenadines 604 

Suriname 607 

Trinidad  and  Tobago 616 

Uruguay 622 

Venezuela 627 

East  Asia  and  the  Pacific: 

Australia 632 

Brunei 635 

Burma 640 

Cambodia 649 

China 660 

China  (Taiwan  only) 680 

Fiji 694 

Indonesia 701 

Japan 712 

Kiribati 718 

Korea,  Democratic  People's  Republic  of 721 

Korea,  Republic  of 728 

Laos 743 

Malaysia 751 

Marshall  Islands 760 

Micronesia,  Federated  States  of 763 

Mongolia 766 

Nauru 770 

New  Zealand 774 

Papua  New  Guinea 777 

Philippines 782 

Singapore 787 

Solomon  Islands 807 

Thailand 810 

Tonga 822 

Vanuatu 825 

Vietnam 828 

Western  Samoa 838 

Europe  and  North  America: 

Albania 842 

Austria 849 

Belgium 854 

Bulgaria 860 

Canada 871 


IX 

Page 

Europe  and  North  America — Continued 

Cyprus 875 

Czechoslovakia 881 

Denmark 893 

Estonia 897 

Finland 902 

France 908 

German  Democratic  Republic 913 

Germany,  Federal  Republic  of 922 

Greece 927 

Hungary 935 

Iceland 944 

Ireland 948 

Italy 953 

Latvia 958 

Lithuania 963 

Luxembourg 968 

Malta 972 

Netherlands,  The 978 

Norvi^ay 983 

Poland 988 

Portugal 1000 

Romania 1006 

Spain 1019 

Sweden 1023 

Switzerland 1028 

Turkey 1032 

Union  of  Soviet  Socialist  Republics 1045 

United  Kingdom 1069 

Yugoslavia 1079 

Near  East,  North  Africa,  and  South  Asia: 

Afghanistan 1090 

Algeria 1099 

Bahrain 1108 

Bangladesh 1114 

Bhutan 1126 

Egypt 1131 

India 1148 

Iran 1159 

Iraq 1170 

Israel  and  the  occupied  territories 1180 

Jordan 1200 

Kuwait 1209 

Lebanon 1222 

Libya 1231 

Maldives 1238 

Morocco 1244 

The  Western  Sahara 1255 

Nepal 1257 

Oman 1264 

Pakistan 1270 

Qatar 1285 

Saudi  Arabia 1290 

Sri  Lanka 1300 

Syria 1313 

Tunisia 1322 

United  Arab  Emirates 1331 

Yemen  Arab  Republic 1336 

Yemen,  People's  Democratic  Republic  of. 1343 

Appendixes: 

A.  Notes  on  preparation  of  the  reports 1347 

B.  Reporting  on  worker  rights 1350 

C.  Selected  international  human  rights  agreements 1352 


COUNTRY  REPORTS  ON  HUMAN  RIGHTS 
PRACTICES 

INTRODUCTION 

1987  Human  Rights  Report 

This  report  is  submitted  to  the  Congress  by  the  Department  of 
State  in  compliance  with  Sections  116(d)(1)  and  502B(b)  of  the 
Foreign  Assistance  Act  of  1961,  as  amended.*   The  legislation 
requires  human  rights  reports  on  all  countries  that  receive  aid 
from  the  United  States  and  all  countries  that  are  members  of 
the  United  Nations.   In  the  belief  that  the  information  would 
be  useful  to  the  Congress  and  other  readers,  we  have  also 
included  reports  on  countries  which  do  not  fall  into  either  of 
these  categories  and  which  are  thus  not  covered  by  the 
Congressional  requirement. 

Congress  amended  the  Foreign  Assistance  Act  with  the  foregoing 
sections  of  law  so  as  to  be  able  to  consult  these  reports  when 
considering  assistance  programs  for  specific  foreign  countries. 
One  of  the  very  important  consequences--perhaps  unintended--of 
these  legislative  provisions  is  that  they  have  made  human 
rights  concerns  an  integral  part  of  the  State  Department's 
daily  reporting  and  daily  decisionmaking.   A  human  rights 
officer  in  an  Embassy  overseas  who  wants  to  write  a  good 
annual  human  rights  report  on  the  country  in  which  he  or  she 
works  must  carefully  monitor  and  observe  human  rights 
developments  throughout  the  year  on  a  daily  basis.   As  a 
consequence  he  or  she  will  report  on  such  developments  whenever 
something  of  human  rights  significance  happens  in  the  country 
of  assignment.   In  the  past  11  years,  the  State  Department  has 
become  decidedly  better  informed  on  and  sensitized  to  human 
rights  violations  as  they  occur  around  the  globe. 


•Section  116(d)(1)  of  the  Foreign  Assistance  Act  provides  as 
follows : 

"The  Secretary  of  State  shall  transmit  to  the  Speaker  of  the 

House  of  Representatives  and  the  Corrimittee  on  Foreign  Relations 

of  the  Senate,  by  January  31  of  each  year,  a  full  and  complete 
report  regarding  -- 

"(1)   the  status  of  internationally  recognized  human 
rights,  within  the  meaning  of  subsection  (a)  -- 

(A)  in  countries  that  received  assistance  under  this 
part,  and 

(B)  in  all  other  foreign  countries  which  are  members  of 
the  United  Nations  and  which  are  not  otherwise  the  subject  of 
a  human  rights  report  under  this  Act." 

Section  502(B) (b)  of  the  Foreign  Assistance  Act  provides  as 
follows : 

"The  Secretary  of  State  shall  transmit  to  Congress,  as  part  of 
the  presentation  materials  for  security  assistance  programs 
proposed  for  each  fiscal  year,  a  full  and  complete  report, 
prepared  with  the  assistance  of  the  Assistant  Secretary  of 
State  for  Human  Rights  and  Humanitarian  Affairs,  with  respect 
to  practices  regarding  the  observance  of  and  respect  for 
internationally  recognized  human  rights  in  each  country 
proposed  as  a  recipient  of  security  assistance." 

(1) 


As  we  look  back  at  human  rights  developments  worldwide  during 
the  year  1987,  there  is  no  doubt  that  the  attention  of  a  great 
many  observers  focused  on  developments  in  the  Soviet  Union. 
Was  Mikhail  S.  Gorbachev,  in  this  third  year  of  his 
stewardship  of  the  world's  first  Leninist  dictatorship, 
bringing  about  fundamental  change,  or  were  the  changes  merely 
cosmetic?   The  answer  to  this  question,  asked  by  so  many 
observers,  is  that  neither  adjective  fits.   The  changes  were 
more  than  cosmetic  and  less  than  fundamental.   The  Soviet 
dictatorship,  concentrated  in  a  small  elite  group  and 
operating  through  a  single  recognized  party,  remained  in 
place.   The  secret  police  and  its  comprehensive  network  of 
informants  remained  the  principal  pillar  on  which  the  state 
edifice  rests.   A  majority  of  political  prisoners  remained  in 
jail.   But,  as  our  report  on  the  U.S.S.R.  points  out,  there 
was  some  relaxation  of  totalitarian  controls.   Some  political 
prisoners  were  released.   The  Soviets  announced  moves  to  end 
the  truly  barbarous  practice  of  abuse  of  psychiatry. 
Emigration  levels  for  ethnic  Germans,  Armenians,  and  Jews  were 
higher  than  those  of  recent  years,  although  totals  for  Soviet 
Jews  fell  far  short  of  those  of  the  1970's.   Plays  and  films 
could  be  seen  that  dealt  with  the  realities  of  Soviet  life 
more  honestly  than  had  been  allowed  in  a  long  time.   On  the 
other  hand,  we  regret  to  say,  the  hopes  and  expectations 
voiced  in  the  spring  of  1987  as  to  rapid  additional  progress 
were  not  fulfilled  by  the  end  of  the  year.   We  need  to  see 
what  1988  will  bring. 

Poland  and  Hungary  continue  as  the  two  countries  in  the  Warsaw 
Pact  most  tolerant  of  the  expression  of  internal  dissent.   In 
fact,  Poland  completed  a  full  calendar  year,  for  the  first 
time  in  a  long  time,  without  a  single  person  convicted  and 
incarcerated  for  the  mere  expression  of  dissenting  political 
views.   It  surely  does  not  mean  that  political  freedom  has 
come  to  Poland,  but  it  is  progress  of  a  sort. 

Elsewhere  in  the  world,  we  note  with  satisfaction  the  holding 
of  free  elections  in  the  Republic  of  Korea  and  the  further 
relaxation  of  controls  in  Taiwan.   On  the  other  hand,  hopes 
for  the  establishment  of  democracy  in  Haiti  were  seriously  set 
back,  and  there  was  no  progress  toward  respect  for  human 
rights  in  South  Africa. 

Free  elections  and  a  democratic  system  are  essential,  but  not 
sufficient,  elements  of  a  society  which  respects  human 
rights.   The  mere  fact  that  democracy  has  been  established  is 
no  guarantee  that  human  rights  will  be  fully  respected  in  such 
a  democratic  country.   As  these  reports  demonstrate,  effective 
law  enforcement,  including  the  operation  of  an  independent, 
effective,  and  efficient  judiciary,  is  needed  if  the  rights  of 
the  individual  are  to  be  protected  against  all  forms  of 
encroachment.   We  note  with  regret  that,  in  a  number  of  Latin 
American  democracies,  the  law  enforcement  system  lags 
significantly  behind  other  institutions  of  government  in 
safeguarding  human  rights  and  due  process. 

This  year  there  are  169  separate  reports.   Conditions  in  most 
countries  are  described  to  the  end  of  1987;  for  a  few 
countries,  significant  developments  occurring  during  the  first 
weeks  of  1988  are  also  included.   The  guidelines  followed  in 
preparing  the  reports  are  explained  in  detail  in  Appendix  A. 
In  Appendix  B  is  a  discussion  of  reporting  on  worker  rights. 
Appendix  C  contains  a  list  of  12  international  human  rights 
covenants  and  agreements. 


The  reports  also  include  additional  information  on  worker 
rights,  as  required  by  Section  505(c)  of  the  Trade  Act  of  1974, 
as  amended  by  Title  V  of  the  Trade  and  Tariff  Act  of  1984 
(Generalized  System  of  Preferences  Renewal  Act  of  1984).* 
Although  the  legislation  requires  reports  on  worker  rights  only 
in  developing  countries  that  have  been  beneficiaries  under  the 
Generalized  System  of  Preferences,  in  the  interest  of 
uniformity,  and  to  provide  a  ready  basis  for  comparison,  we 
have  here  applied  the  same  reporting  standards  that  we  have 
applied  to  all  countries  on  which  we  prepare  reports. 

Definition  of  Human  Rights 

Human  rights,  as  defined  in  Section  116(a)  of  the  Foreign 
Assistance  Act,  include  freedom  from  torture  or  cruel,  inhuman 
or  degrading  treatment  or  punishment;  prolonged  detention 
without  charges;  disappearance  due  to  abduction  or  clandestine 
detention;  and  other  flagrant  denial  of  the  rights  to  life, 
liberty,  and  the  security  of  the  person.   Internationally 
recognized  worker  rights,  as  defined  in  Section  502(a)  of  the 
Trade  Act,  include  (A)  the  right  of  association;  (B)  the  right 
to  organize  and  bargain  collectively;  (C)  prohibition  on  the 
use  of  any  form  of  forced  or  compulsory  labor;  (D)  a  minimum 
age  for  the  employment  of  children;  and  (E)  acceptable 
conditions  of  work  with  respect  to  minimum  wages,  hours  of 
work,  and  occupational  safety  and  health.   (Categories  A  and  B 
are  covered  in  Section  2.b.  of  each  report,  C  in  Section  l.d., 
and  D  and  E  in  a  final  section.  Conditions  of  Labor.) 

In  addition  to  discussing  the  topics  specified  in  the 
legislation,  our  reports,  as  in  previous  years,  cover  other 
internationally  recognized  political  and  civil  rights  and 
describe  the  political  system  of  each  country.   We  have  altered 
our  previous  discussion  of  the  economic,  social,  and  cultural 
situation  by  focusing  on  the  issue  of  discrimination  in  these 
fields . 

In  applying  these  internationally  recognized  standards,  we 
seek  to  be  objective.   But  the  reports  unashamedly  reflect  the 
U.S.  view  that  the  right  of  self-government  is  a  basic 
political  right,  that  government  is  legitimate  only  when 
grounded  on  the  consent  of  the  governed,  and  that  government 
thus  grounded  should  not  be  used  to  deny  life,  liberty,  and 
the  pursuit  of  happiness.   Individuals  in  a  society  have  the 
inalienable  right  to  be  free  from  governmental  violations  of 
the  integrity  of  the  person;  to  enjoy  civil  liberties  such  as 
freedom  of  expression,  assembly,  religion,  and  movement, 
without  discrimination  based  on  race,  ancestry,  or  sex;  and  to 
change  their  government  by  peaceful  means.   The  reports  also 
take  into  account  the  fact  that  terrorists  and  guerrilla 
groups  often  kill,  torture,  or  maim  citizens  or  deprive  them 
of  their  liberties;  such  violations  are  no  less  reprehensible 
if  committed  by  violent  opponents  of  the  government  than  if 
committed  by  the  government  itself. 

We  have  found  that  the  concept  of  economic,  social,  and 
cultural  rights  is  often  confused,  sometimes  willfully,  by 


*Section  505(c)  of  the  Trade  Act  provides  as  follows: 

"The  President  shall  submit  an  annual  report  to  the 
Congress  on  the  status  of  internationally  recognized 
worker  rights  within  each  beneficiary  developing  country. 


repressive  governments  claiming  that  in  order  to  promote 
these" rights"  they  may  deny  their  citizens  the  right  to 
integrity  of  the  person  as  well  as  political  and  civil 
rights.   There  exists  a  profound  connection  between  human 
rights  and  economic  development.   Experience  demonstrates  that 
it  is  individual  freedom  that  sets  the  stage  for  economic  and 
social  development;  it  is  repression  that  stifles  it.   Those 
who  try  to  justify  subordinating  political  and  civil  rights  on 
the  ground  that  they  are  concentrating  on  economic  aspirations 
invariably  deliver  on  neither.   That  is  why  we  consider  it 
imperative  to  focus  urgent  attention  on  violations  of  basic 
political  and  civil  rights,  a  position  given  renewed  emphasis 
by  the  1984  Congressional  Joint  Resolution  on  Torture.   If 
these  basic  rights  are  not  secured,  experience  has  shown,  the 
goals  of  economic  development  are  not  reached  either. 

United  States  Human  Rights  Policy 

From  this  premise,  that  basic  human  rights  may  not  be  abridged 
or  denied,  it  follows  that  our  human  rights  policy  is  concerned 
with  the  limitations  on  the  powers  of  government  that  are 
required  to  protect  the  integrity  and  dignity  of  the 
individual.   Further,  it  is  in  our  national  interest  to  promote 
democratic  processes  in  order  to  help  build  a  world  environment 
more  favorable  to  respect  for  human  rights  and  hence  more 
conducive  to  stability  and  peace.   We  have  developed, 
therefore,  a  dual  policy,  reactive  in  the  sense  that  we 
continue  to  oppose  specific  human  rights  violations  wherever 
they  occur,  but  at  the  same  time  active  in  working  over  the 
long  term  to  strengthen  democracy. 

In  much  of  the  world,  the  United  States  has  a  variety  of  means 
at  its  disposal  to  respond  to  human  rights  violations.   We 
engage  in  traditional  diplomacy,  particularly  with  friendly 
governments,  where  frank  diplomatic  exchanges  are  possible  and 
productive.   Where  we  find  limited  opportunities  for  the  United 
States  to  exert  significant  influence  through  bilateral 
relations,  we  resort  to  public  statements  of  our  concerns, 
calling  attention  to  countries  where  respect  for  human  rights 
is  lacking.   In  a  number  of  instances,  we  employ  a  mixture  of 
traditional  diplomacy  and  public  affirmation  of  American 
interest  in  the  issue. 

The  United  States  also  employs  a  variety  of  means  to  encourage 
greater  respect  for  human  rights  over  the  long  term.   Since 
1983  the  National  Endowment  for  Democracy  has  been  carrying 
out  programs  designed  to  promote  democratic  practices  abroad, 
involving  the  two  major  United  States  political  parties,  labor 
unions,  business  groups,  and  many  private  institutions.   Also, 
through  Section  116(e)  of  the  Foreign  Assistance  Act,  funds 
are  disbursed  by  the  Agency  for  International  Development  for 
programs  designed  to  promote  civil  and  political  rights  abroad. 
We  also  seek  greater  international  commitment  to  the  protection 
of  human  rights  and  respect  for  democracy  through  our  efforts 
in  the  United  Nations  and  other  international  organizations. 

Preparation  of  these  annual  reports  constitutes  an  important 
element  of  our  human  rights  policy.   The  process,  since  it 
involves  continuous  and  well-publicized  attention  to  human 
rights,  has  contributed  to  the  strengthening  of  an 
international  human  rights  agenda.   Many  countries  that  are 
strong  supporters  of  human  rights  are  taking  steps  of  their 
own  to  engage  in  human  rights  reporting  and  have  established 
offices  specifically  responsible  for  international  human 


rights  policy.   Even  among  countries  without  strong  human 
rights  records,  sensitivity  to  these  reports  increasingly 
takes  the  form  of  constructive  response,  or  at  least  a 
willingness  to  engage  in  a  discussion  of  human  rights  policy. 
In  calling  upon  the  Department  of  State  to  prepare  these 
reports.  Congress  has  created  an  increasingly  useful 
instrument  for  advancing  the  cause  of  human  rights. 


Richard  Schifter 
Assistant  Secretary  of  State 
for  Human  Rights  and  Humanitarian  Affairs 


AFRICA 

ANGOLA* 


The  People's  Republic  of  Angola,  the  regime  established  in 
Luanda  upon  the  withdrawal  of  the  Portuguese  in  1975,  is  ruled 
by  the  only  legal  political  party,  the  Marxist-Leninist 
Popular  Movement  for  the  Liberation  of  Angola  (MPLA) . 
President  Jose  Eduardo  dos  Santos  is  both  Head  of  State  and 
chief  of  the  MPLA.   His  rule  was  reconfirmed  by  the  MPLA's 
Second  Party  Congress  in  December  1985.   All  major  policy 
decisions  are  made  by  a  small  elite  in  the  MPLA,  which  also 
controls  all  means  of  mass  communication.   Open  political 
dissension  is  not  tolerated.   Now  in  its  12th  year,  the 
internal  conflict  between  the  Government  and  the  main 
opposition  force,  the  National  Union  for  the  Total 
Independence  of  Angola  (UNITA) ,  again  dominated  events  in  1987. 

The  Angolan  armed  forces  (FAPLA)  total  approximately  100,000. 
FAPLA  is  backed  by  a  lightly  armed  Peoples'  Milita,  which  is 
used  only  for  defensive  duties  within  their  localities. 
UNITA,  led  by  Jonas  Savimbi,  is  estimated  to  have  a  regular 
force  of  about  30,000,  as  well  as  a  comparable  number  of 
irregular  troops.   It  has  the  allegiance  of  a  substantial 
portion  of  the  population,  especially  among  Angola's  largest 
ethnic  group  the  Ovimbundu.   UNITA  controls  the  southeastern 
quarter  of  Angola's  territory.   The  Angolan  Government  receives 
extensive  military  assistance  from  the  Soviet  Union--well  over 
$4  billion  since  1975  and  $1  billion  in  the  last  year  alone-- 
and  in  1987  an  estimated  1,500  Soviet  and  East  German  advisers 
continued  to  play  an  important  role  in  planning  and  directing 
military  operations.   An  estimated  40,000  Cuban  military 
personnel,  a  number  which  increased  during  1987,  provide 
logistical  support,  training,  and  advice  to  government  forces 
as  well  as  garrison  key  strategic  population  and  economic 
centers.   UNITA  has  stated  it  favors  a  government  of  national 
unity  and  has  not  sought  to  establish  an  alternate  government. 
The  Government  for  its  part  repeatedly  has  stated  that  it  will 
not  negotiate  with  UNITA,  although  it  has  offered  amnesty  to 
UNITA  rebels  who  lay  down  their  arms.   The  United  States 
supports  UNITA  in  the  Angolan  conflict  and  has  provided  its 
forces  with  appropriate  assistance. 

The  fighting  has  devastated  the  country's  infrastructure, 
forced  a  return  to  barter  in  some  areas,  and  has  led  the 
Government  to  divert  much  of  its  assets  to  the  military, 
including  payments  to  the  Soviet  Bloc  for  military  equipment 
and  Cuban  combat  troops.   Although  foreign  exchange  earnings 
from  Angola's  oil  exports  increased  in  1987  (to  $1.8  billion), 
the  continued  reduction  of  commercial  food  imports,  and  the 
impact  of  war  on  the  productivity  and  distribution  networks  of 
Angolan  agriculture  are  reportedly  creating  a  serious  food 
emergency  in  both  the  cities  and  the  countryside.   At  the  end 
of  1987,  efforts  were  underway  by  international  relief 
agencies  and  donor  governments  to  assist  in  preventing 
famine.   The  Government,  in  response  to  the  generally  critical 
situation,  announced  on  August  17  its  intention  to  institute 
economic  reforms,  but  had  not  done  so  by  the  end  of  1987.   The 
Government  also  has  applied  for  admission  to  the  International 
Monetary  Fund. 


*The  United  States  does  not  maintain  diplomatic  relations  with 
the  People's  Republic  of  Angola  and  thus  has  no  diplomatic 
personnel  there  able  to  monitor  human  rights  conditions  or 
evaluate  allegations  of  abuses. 


ANGOLA 

In  1987  human  rights  abuses  continued  as  the  fighting  increased 
in  intensity.   In  November  UNITA  forces  finally  stopped  a  major 
government  campaign  leaving  many  hundreds  of  casualties.   Each 
side  accused  the  other  of  killing  civilians  and  committing 
atrocities.   Some  recent  estimates  indicate  that  about  700,000 
of  the  8  to  9  million  population  have  been  displaced 
internally,  in  addition  to  some  400,000  refugees  resident  in 
neighboring  countries.   South  Africa  announced  in  November 
that  it  had  given  military  support  to  UNITA  during  the  fall 
campaign.   A  number  of  deaths  also  occurred  inside  Angola  in 
the  course  of  hostilities  between  the  Southwest  Africa  People's 
Organization  (SWAPO--a  Namibian  resistance  movement  with  bases 
in  Angola)  and  South  Africa,  which  controls  the  territory  of 
Namibia  on  Angola's  southern  border. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

Reports  of  unconfirmed  political  killings  on  the  part  of  the 
Government  and  UNITA,  both  within  the  combat  areas  and  in  the 
form  of  summary  executions  of  prisoners,  persisted  in  1987 
(see  Section  l.g.).   A  number  of  members  of  a  religious  sect 
were  killed  by  security  forces  in  Luanda  in  February  (see 
Section  2 .c. ) . 

b.  Disappearance 

There  is  no  information  to  confirm  that  secret  arrests  or 
clandestine  detentions  are  practiced  by  government  security 
agencies  or  by  UNITA,  although  each  side  has  accused  the  other 
of  such  practices. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Allegations  of  torture  and  mistreatment  made  by  both  sides 
appear  to  have  some  basis  in  fact,  but  torture  of  opponents 
does  not  appear  to  be  a  systematic  practice  of  either  the 
Government  or  UNITA. 

Angolan  prison  conditions  are  poor,  with  substandard  diet  and 
sanitation.   There  are  some  unconfirmed  reports  that  foreigners 
are  not  well  treated,  but  Americans  who  have  been  imprisoned 
in  Angola  appear  to  have  been  treated  adeguately  and  to  have 
had  access  to  medical  care. 

Prison  authorities  reportedly  have  wide  latitude  in  the 
treatment  of  prisoners.   Treatment  of  political  prisoners  at 
the  prisons  controlled  by  the  Ministry  of  State  Security 
appears  to  be  harsher  than  treatment  in  the  regular  prisons. 
Mistreatment  includes  beatings,  threats,  and  prolonged 
interrogation  with  the  use  of  force.   Amnesty  International's 
1987  Report  stated  that  the  most  commonly  reported  form  of 
torture  involved  severe  and  repeated  beatings.   Prison  visits 
appear  to  be  arbitrarily  restricted  in  many  instances. 
Foreign  advisers,  including  Cubans  and  East  Germans,  are 
assisting  Angolan  state  security  services  and  may  help  in 
operating  state  security  prisons.   The  Government  continues  to 
put  captured  UNITA  supporters  on  public  display. 


ANGOLA 

Very  limited  information  is  available  on  the  situation  and 
administrative  structure  within  UNITA-held  areas.   It  is 
known,  however,  that  UNITA  captures  foreign  and  government 
prisoners  in  the  course  of  military  operations  and  holds  them 
in  makeshift  facilities  in  its  areas  of  control  in  southeastern 
Angola.   In  September  1987,  UNITA  took  three  Swedish  aid 
workers  prisoner  during  an  assault  on  a  military  convoy.   One 
of  them  was  wounded  during  the  attack  and  subsequently  died; 
the  two  remaining  prisoners  were  released  in  December. 
Following  their  release,  the  two  told  reporters  they  were  not 
mistreated  but  that  the  third  prisoner  might  have  survived  had 
he  been  given  adequate  medical  care. 

d.   Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Two  of  the  most  frequently  reported  charges  of  human  rights 
violations  have  been  arbitrary  arrest  and  imprisonment  without 
due  process.   Numerous  reports  allege  that  persons  are 
arrested  and  imprisoned  by  the  Government  on  suspicion  or 
denunciation  by  others  and,  in  some  cases,  held  for  years 
without  being  notified  of  the  charges  against  them.   In  its 
1987  Report,  Amnesty  International  stated  that  there  continue 
to  be  few  safeguards  against  the  arrest  and  detention  of 
political  suspects  by  Government  security  services. 

Under  Angolan  law,  persons  suspected  of  committing  serious 
acts  against  the  security  of  the  State  may  be  held  by  the 
Ministry  of  State  Security  without  charge  for  an  initial 
period  of  3  months,  renewable  for  a  further  period  of  3 
months.   Such  detainees  need  not  be  presented  to  a  judge 
within  48  hours  of  their  arrest,  as  stipulated  in  the  code  of 
criminal  procedure  for  persons  suspected  of  other  kinds  of 
crime,  and  apparently  have  no  right  to  challenge  the  grounds 
of  their  detention.   After  6  months  in  detention  without 
charge,  the  detainee  must  be  informed  of  the  accusations,  with 
the  state  security  service  either  informing  the  public 
prosecutor  of  the  charges  or  releasing  the  suspect.   Once  the 
case  is  presented  to  the  public  prosecutor,  there  does  not 
appear  to  be  a  specific  time  limit  within  which  a  suspect  must 
be  brought  to  trial,  and  many  political  detainees--the  exact 
number  is  not  known  but  may  be  several  hundred--have  been  held 
for  years  without  being  tried. 

The  deterioration  of  the  security  situation  has  exacerbated 
the  general  decline  in  judicial  safeguards  and  due  process. 
The  Government  has  established  regional  military  councils 
throughout  much  of  Angola.   They  are  responsible  directly  to 
President  Dos  Santos  and  have  broad  authority  to  restrict  the 
movement  of  people  and  goods,  to  requisition  people  and  goods 
without  compensation,  and  to  try  crimes  against  the  security 
of  the  State.   The  Government  has  also  created  "people's 
vigilance  brigades"  for  urban  areas,  whose  powers  are  not 
clear  but  include  general  administration  and  "protecting  the 
people  and  ensuring  public  order  and  stability." 

The  most  important  person  to  accept  the  Government's  offer  of 
amnesty  was  Daniel  Chipenda,  who  had  seriously  challenged  the 
late  President  Neto  for  leadership  of  the  MPLA  in  1974. 

During  1987  both  sides  accused  each  other  of  relying  on  forced 
conscription  of  young  males  for  recruitment  into  the  military 
forces.   In  1984  the  Angolan  Government  was  cited  by  the 
International  Labor  Organization  (ILO)  for  being  in  violation 
of  ILO  Convention  105,  which  prohibits  forced  labor.   The 


ANGOLA 

basis  of  this  citation  is  Angolan  legislation  providing  for 
compulsory  labor  for  breaches  of  labor  discipline  and 
participation  in  strikes. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  Constitution  states  that  no  citizen  shall  be  arrested  and 
brought  to  trial  except  under  the  terms  of  the  law,  and  it 
provides  for  the  right  of  the  accused  to  a  defense.   There  is, 
however,  insufficient  evidence  to  determine  to  what  extent 
these  rights  are  observed  in  practice.   In  its  1987  Report, 
Amnesty  International  expressed  concern  that  trials  of 
government  opponents,  notably  in  military  tribunals,  do  not 
conform  to  internationally  recognized  trial  standards.   In 
particular,  defendants  reportedly  were  not  given  adequate 
opportunity  to  present  their  defense  or  appeal  their  cases. 
Judicial  lines  of  authority  are  unclear,  especially  since  the 
regional  military  councils  have  been  given  responsibility  for 
the  trial  of  offenses  against  the  security  of  the  State, 
including  "economic  crimes."   It  is  not  known  which  trials  are 
open  to  the  public  and  under  what  rules  of  procedure  the 
various  military  and  civilian  courts  operate.   The  Constitution 
provides  for  a  People's  Supreme  Court,  but  its  jurisdiction  is 
not  known. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Although  the  Constitution  provides  for  the  inviolability  of 
the  home  and  privacy  of  correspondence,  the  Government 
conducts  arbitrary  searches  of  homes,  censors  private 
correspondence,  and  monitors  private  communications. 

g.  Violations  of  Humanitarian  Law  in  Armed  Conflicts 

The  civil  war  reached  a  new  level  of  intensity  in  1987,  with 
modern  weaponry  in  use  by  both  sides.   The  escalation  of  the 
war  resulted  in  numerous  allegations  that  government,  UNITA, 
and  South  African  forces  killed  civilians  and  that  the  MPLA 
and  UNITA  executed  political  prisoners.   While  it  is  difficult 
to  substantiate  the  various  claims  and  counterclaims, 
available  evidence  suggests  that  both  government  and  UNITA 
forces  have  on  occasion  arbitrarily  executed  prisoners.   The 
fighting  also  probably  resulted  in  hundreds  of  civilian 
deaths.   While  some  of  these  deaths  were  inadvertently  caused 
by  military  operations,  others  appear  to  have  been  deliberately 
perpetrated  by  opposing  forces  to  intimidate  civilian 
populations.   The  MPLA  and  UNITA  have  publicly  and  repeatedly 
accused  each  other  of  practicing  terrorism  against  their 
respective  opponents,  including  killing  or  maiming  civilians. 
UNITA  has  additionally  charged  that  Cuban  forces  have  been 
involved  in  attacks  on  civilians.   Civilians  also  have  died  as 
a  result  of  guerrilla  actions,  such  as  attacks  on  ground 
transportation  and  other  economic  targets.   There  are  no 
reliable  casualty  figures,  but  the  international  press  focused 
on  the  large  number  of  civilian  casualties  due  to  the  extensive 
use  of  landmines.   Upwards  of  10,000  persons  may  have  lost 
limbs  as  a  result  of  the  widespread  use  of  landmines. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of  expression  "in  the 
context  of  the  achievement  of  the  basic  objectives  of  the 


10 


ANGOLA 

People's  Republic  of  Angola."   In  fact,  the  Angolan  people 
live  under  censorship,  intimidation,  and  Government  control  of 
the  media.   Opposition  views  are  not  tolerated,  and  critics 
such  as  Bartolomeu  Dias  Fernandes,  who  was  accused  of 
"insulting  the  Head  of  State,"  have  been  sentenced  to  long 
prison  terms. 

The  Government  is  especially  sensitive  to  criticism  in  the 
foreign  press.   But  in  1986  the  Government  began  to  allow  the 
travel  of  foreign  correspondents  to  Angola  in  a  controlled 
flow,  a  practice  that  was  continued  in  1987.   Angola  subscribes 
to  the  "Front  Line"  states'  ban  on  visits  by  South  Africa-based 
news  correspondents.   The  circulation  of  Western  journals  and 
periodicals  in  Angola  is  tightly  restricted. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Freedom  of  assembly  is  denied  to  any  political  group  or 
movement  other  than  the  MPLA.   All  other  political  movements 
have  been  banned.   There  are  numerous  unconfirmed  reports  of 
arrests  of  people  who  voice  support  of  opposition  movements  or 
alternative  political  systems.   The  people's  vigilance 
brigades,  which  have  some  law  enforcement  authority  in  urban 
areas,  and  the  martial  law  climate  throughout  the  country  tend 
further  to  restrict  freedom  of  assembly  and  association. 

The  only  trade  union  movement  in  Angola  is  the  National  Union 
of  Angolan  Workers,  which  is  controlled  by  the  MPLA  and  is  a 
member  of  the  continent-wide  Organization  of  African  Trade 
Union  Unity.  Traditional  labor  union  activities  are  tightly 
controlled  by  the  Government,  and  legislation  ensures  only  a 
single  trade  union  structure.  Strikes  are  prohibited  by  law 
as  a  crime  against  the  security  of  the  State. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Although  the  Constitution  provides  for  the  inviolability  of 
freedom  of  conscience  and  belief  and  for  separation  of  church 
and  state,  the  Government  publicly  emphasizes  the  importance 
of  propagating  atheism  and  has  been  critical  of  religious 
activities.   The  overwhelming  majority  of  the  Angolan 
population  is  Christian,  however,  and  the  Government  has  not 
moved  to  close  down  officially  recognized  churches.   Church 
services  are  held  regularly,  and  there  is  widespread 
attendance.   Foreign  and  Angolan  missionaries  are  allowed  to 
carry  out  their  normal  activities.   Reportedly,  UNITA  respects 
freedom  of  religion  in  the  areas  it  controls.   In  the  past, 
UNITA  several  times  captured  foreign  missionaries,  releasing 
them  unharmed  after  publicly  warning  them  of  the  dangers  of 
being  caught  in  the  combat  zone. 

The  Government  refuses  to  recognize  smaller  religious  sects 
that  it  deems  subversive.   In  February  1987,  for  reasons  that 
are  unclear,  Angolan  security  forces  in  Luanda  killed  a  number 
of  members  of  a  subsect  of  the  Tocoist  Church  called  the  18 
Classes  and  16  Tribes.   The  Tocoist  Church,  founded  in  Africa 
in  1949,  is  a  syncretic  blend  of  Christian  beliefs  and 
indigenous  religious  practices.   The  Government  banned  the 
Church  in  1977. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

As  a  result  of  the  increased  fighting,  the  Government  is 
acutely  sensitive  about  security  and  has  tightly 


11 


ANGOLA 

restricted  travel.   Travel  by  road  in  most  areas  of  Angola  is 
dangerous.   The  Government  has  instituted  a  pass  system  within 
Angola,  and  foreigners  are  generally  prohibited  from  traveling 
outside  the  principal  cities.   UNITA  has  publicly  warned  that 
it  considers  all  of  Angola  to  be  a  war  zone  and  that  it  cannot 
guarantee  the  safety  of  persons  traveling  there. 

Angolan  citizens  are  allowed  to  travel  abroad,  but  this  travel 
is  carefully  controlled  by  restrictions  on  issuance  of 
passports  and  exit  visas  and  by  currency  restrictions. 
Emigration  is  restricted.   The  Government  limits  travel  to 
Angola  through  a  selective  and  stringent  visa  policy. 

Angola  is  a  party  to  the  U.N.  Protocol  Relating  to  the  Status 
of  Refugees.   There  are  currently  approximately  70,000 
Namibian,  13,000  Zairian,  and  10,000  South  African  refugees  or 
displaced  persons  in  Angola.   Since  mid-1980,  between  120,000 
and  140,000  former  Zairian  displaced  persons  in  Angola  returned 
home  under  the  auspices  of  the  U.N.  High  Commissioner  for 
Refugees . 

Approximately  300,000  Angolans  are  still  refugees  in  Zaire, 
and  an  estimated  94,000  are  in  Zambia.   The  Government  claims 
that  180,000  exiles  have  returned  to  Angola  over  the  years, 
but  this  claim  cannot  be  verified. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  do  not  have  the  right  to  change  the  Government. 
Angola  is  ruled  by  a  small  group  of  officials  within  the  party 
apparatus  of  the  ruling  MPLA.   The  Constitution  provides  for 
popular  participation  in  the  political  process,  but  political 
activity  is  limited  to  participation  in  the  MPLA  or  in  one  of 
its  controlled  and  sanctioned  organizations  such  as  its  youth 
wing,  the  Angolan  Women's  Organization,  or  the  trade  union 
movement.   Political  power  is  centered  in  the  elite  membership 
of  the  Politburo  and  the  somewhat  larger  Central  Committee. 
Party  membership  is  very  restricted,  with  fewer  than  30,000 
members  out  of  a  population  of  8  to  9  million,  according  to 
the  official  media. 

The  Constitution  provides  for  a  popularly  elected  National 
People's  Assembly,  established  in  1981,  and  people's 
assemblies  at  the  provincial  and  local  level.   However, 
despite  recent  suggestions  from  President  Dos  Santos  that  the 
powers  and  membership  of  the  National  People's  Assembly  be 
broadened,  as  of  the  end  of  1987  only  candidates  chosen  and 
endorsed  by  the  party  have  been  elected.   Key  members  of  the 
party  also  hold  leadership  positions  in  the  people's 
assemblies . 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  has  allowed  the  International  Committee  of  the 
Red  Cross  (ICRC)  and  United  Nations  International  Children's 
Emergency  Fund  to  provide  food  and  medical  assistance  in  areas 
it  controls,  and  UNITA  allows  the  ICRC  to  conduct  similar 
operations  in  areas  it  controls  or  is  contesting.   The 
Government  has  not  responded  to  ICRC  requests  for  access  to 
all  persons  arrested  in  connection  with  internal  events  and 
the  military  situation  in  the  country. 


12 


ANGOLA 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Because  of  the  disturbed  situation  prevailing  in  most  of 
Angola,  there  is  little  information  available  on  the  existence 
or  extent  of  discrimination  on  the  basis  of  race,  sex, 
religion,  language,  or  social  status. 

Both  the  MPLA  and  UNITA  have  primarily  ethnic  bases  of 
support--the  MPLA  among  Kimbundu  speakers,  and  UNITA  among  the 
Ovimbundu.   Members  of  all  of  Angola's  ethnic  groups  and 
religions,  as  well  as  women,  participate  in  both  organizations, 
some  at  high  levels  of  the  party.   However,  non-Kimbundu  groups 
are  greatly  under  represented  in  the  small  group  within  the 
ruling  MPLA  Central  Committee  and  Politburo.   Mesticos 
(Angolans  of  mixed  racial  background  numbering  only  about  1 
percent  of  the  population)  remain  the  most  highly  skilled  and 
educated  group  in  Angola  and  are  inf luential--politically, 
culturally,  and  economically--beyond  their  numbers.   Women  and 
blacks  were  given  more  positions  in  the  top  leadership  by  the 
1985  Second  Party  Congress. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

There  is  no  information  available  on  working  conditions  in 
Angola . 


13 


BENIN 


Following  its  independence  from  France  in  1960,  Benin 
experienced  a  prolonged  period  of  political  experimentation 
and  instability,  punctuated  by  frequent  coups  d'etat.   In  1972 
the  army  staged  a  decisive  coup  that  brought  to  power  the 
present  Government,  headed  by  President  Mathieu  Kerekou.   In 
1974  the  Government,  influenced  by  leftists,  declared  Benin  to 
be  a  Marxist-Leninist  state  under  the  direction  of  a  single 
political  party,  the  Party  of  the  People's  Revolution  of  Benin. 
Although  Benin's  Government  has  some  of  the  institutional 
trappings  of  other  Marxist  states,  Benin's  Marxism  has  had  a 
rather  superficial  effect  on  Beninese  society.   Farming  and 
commerce,  the  two  most  important  sectors  of  the  economy,  have 
remained  firmly  in  private  hands.   The  party  itself  is  directed 
by  a  small  leadership  group  in  which  the  influence  of  the 
military  remains  important.   The  party  controls  the  selection 
of  candidates  for  the  National  Assembly  and  local  government 
bodies.   The  military  hold  5  out  of  14  cabinet  positions. 

Early  efforts  at  radical  political  and  social  transformation 
in  the  mid-1970 's  encountered  widespread  resistance  and 
resulted  in  significant  erosions  of  political  and  personal 
liberties.   An  unsuccessful  coup  attempt  in  1977  was  followed 
by  a  period  of  intense  suspicion  of  foreigners  and  domestic 
critics.   In  recent  years,  however,  the  authorities  have 
exhibited  greater  tolerance  of  divergent  social  and  political 
views . 

Benin  is  ranked  as  one  of  the  world's  35  poorest  countries; 
its  underdeveloped  economy  is  largely  supported  by  subsistence 
agriculture  (80  percent  of  the  population  lives  in  rural 
areas),  regional  trade,  and  a  low  level  of  offshore  oil 
production.   Economic  activity  has  been  hampered  by  the 
Government's  efforts  to  institute  centralized  controls.   In 
1985  mounting  balance  of  payments  problems  and  rising  debt 
service  costs  led  the  Government  to  enter  into  negotiations 
with  the  International  Monetary  Fund  to  reduce  the  number  of 
state  enterprises  and  to  encourage  foreign  private  investment. 

The  human  rights  situation  remained  unchanged  in  1987.   There 
were  few  incidents  that  might  have  caused  the  Government  to 
use  repressive  measures.   As  in  1985  and  1986,  there  was  some 
student  unrest;  in  1987  a  small  number  of  students  were 
arrested  for  demonstrating  against  the  late  payment  of 
scholarships . 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1  Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  political  killings. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  disappearance  or  secret  arrests. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

In  its  1987  report.  Amnesty  International  noted  that  in  1986 
it  had  received  reports  of  torture  and  other  ill-treatment  of 
political  prisoners,  including  beatings,  whippings,  and 


14 


BENIN 

"barrel  torture"  (the  victim  is  rolled  around  inside  a  barrel 
containing  broken  glass  and  stones). 

Prison  conditions  in  Benin  are  very  poor.   Sanitation 
facilities  are  deficient,  and  prisoner  food  is  inadequate 
unless  supplemented  by  food  from  friends  or  relatives. 
Physical  punishment  reportedly  occurs. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Benin's  legal  system  provides  for  the  review  of  detentions  by 
a  court  of  law  in  all  but  a  few  sensitive  political  cases. 
The  Constitution  states  that  no  citizen  may  be  arrested 
without  an  order  of  arrest  by  an  established  judicial  body. 
In  practice,  however,  persons  have  been  detained,  some  for 
extended  periods,  without  charge  and  without  recourse  to  legal 
assistance  or  judicial  hearing.   For  example,  the  American 
Association  for  the  Advancement  of  Science  has  reported  that  a 
Beninese  physician,  Afolabi  Biaou,  was  arrested  in  November 
1984  and  has  been  detained  without  charge  since  that  time. 
Biaou  was  previously  involved  with  the  "Support  Committee  for 
Former  Political  Prisoners"  in  Benin  and  was  allegedly  arrested 
en  route  to  the  presidential  palace  where  he  had  been  summoned 
for  a  meeting. 

Most  political  arrests  have  occurred  during  periods  of 
political  tension.   Lengths  of  incarceration  before  trial  are 
at  the  discretion  of  the  authorities.   Although  arrests  are 
not  publicized,  no  special  attempt  is  made  to  keep  them 
secret.   According  to  Amnesty  International,  political 
detainees  and  prisoners  have  been  interrogated  by  the  National 
Commission  of  Inquiry  on  State  Security,  headed  by  a  senior 
military  officer,  apparently  to  determine  the  extent  of  the 
detainee's  ties  to  opposition  groups.   The  Commission 
reportedly  has  had  the  power  to  recommend  to  the  President  the 
continued  detention  or  release  of  suspects. 

Prior  to  his  departure  in  October  1986  to  meet  with  Western 
European  leaders.  President  Kerekou  ordered  the  release  of 
about  50  prisoners  held  since  1985  for  having  participated  in 
strikes.   Amnesty  International  stated  in  its  1987  report  that 
there  were  at  least  88  political  prisoners  being  held  without 
trial  in  Benin  at  the  end  of  1986.   Apparently  most  of  those 
detainees  were  either  suspected  of  involvement  in  the  student 
unrest  of  1985  or  were  accused  of  supporting  the  banned 
Dahomey  Communist  Party. 

Student  unrest  continued  in  1987,  mainly  over  the  late  payment 
of  scholarships.   The  Government  arrested  a  small  number  of 
student  leaders  but  released  them  by  the  end  of  1987. 

There  were  no  reports  alleging  the  use  of  forced  labor,  which 
is  prohibited  under  Beninese  law. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Benin's  judicial  system  is  allowed  to  function  independently 
in  all  but  sensitive  political  cases.   In  such  instances, 
detainees  may  or  may  not  be  permitted  legal  counsel  or  granted 
a  public  hearing.   There  is  no  time  limit  with  respect  to 
charging  a  defendant  or  bringing  the  accused  to  trial.   In 
recent  years,  the  Government  has  used  only  the  established 
civilian  "revolutionary  court"  system.   These  courts  are 
organized  on  provincial  and  national  levels,  and  there  are 


15 


BENIN 

plans  for  courts  at  the  district  level  once  sufficient  judges 
have  been  trained.   The  highest  court  of  appeal  is  the  Central 
People's  Court. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Although  Benin's  Constitution  provides  for  the  inviolability 
of  the  home  and  requires  a  warrant  from  a  judge  before  the 
police  can  enter  a  residence,  there  have  been  occasional 
unconfirmed  reports  of  forced  entries  in  sensitive  political 
cases.   Other  reports  indicate  that  the  security  police  monitor 
telephones  and  the  mail  of  suspected  persons.   There  are  no 
other  known  types  of  interference  with  the  home  or  family. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

With  few  exceptions,  the  local  press,  radio,  and  television 
are  all  government  owned  and  operated.   Among  the  exceptions 
are  La  Croix,  a  weekly  paper  published  by  the  Catholic  church, 
and  Echo,  a  monthly  journal  of  opinion  circulated  throughout 
West  Africa,  which  treat  political  issues  with  circumspection. 
The  official  media  carry  only  those  stories  that  are  approved 
by  or  serve  the  interests  of  the  party  and  the  State. 
Opposition  to  government  policies  and  open  criticism  of  the 
Government  are  not  tolerated.   Academic  freedom  on  nonpolitical 
issues,  however,  is  permitted,  and  there  is  normally  no 
censorship  of  foreign  books  and  artistic  works.   Foreign 
periodicals  are  widely  available  on  newsstands.   Foreign  radio 
broadcasts  are  readily  available  to  much  of  the  population 
through  shortwave  radio.   No  attempt  is  made  to  interfere  with 
radio  reception.   Although  the  public  expression  of  political 
opinion  by  Beninese  is  tightly  controlled,  the  general 
atmosphere  in  Benin  is  not  one  of  fear  and  repression.   Many 
Beninese  are  willing  to  discuss  politics  freely  in  private  or 
in  small  groups. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

All  meetings  of  a  political  nature  must  be  sponsored  by  the 
single  political  party.   Although  organized  public  opposition 
to  the  Government  itself  is  not  permitted,  there  are  numerous 
examples  of  groups  which  have  organized  to  protest  specific 
government  policies  or  actions.   In  recent  years,  the 
Government  has  welcomed  the  formation  of  a  wide  variety  of 
private  social,  service,  and  professional  organizations 
{including  Lions  and  Rotary  clubs),  many  of  which  maintain 
active  international  affiliations.   There  is  no  known 
persecution  of  professional  groups. 

Labor  unions  are  organs  of  the  party  and  unified  under  a 
general  labor  organization,  the  Union  Nationale  des  Syndicats 
des  Travailleurs  du  Benin  (UNSTB) .   Although  controlled  by  the 
Government,  individual  local  unions  negotiate  with  individual 
employers  on  labor  matters  and  represent  workers'  grievances 
to  employers  and  to  the  Government.   The  Government  often 
plays  the  role  of  arbiter. 

Although  the  right  to  strike  is  not  explicitly  denied  or 
protected,  it  is  clear  that  labor  strikes  are  not  sanctioned. 
The  Constitution  of  1977  states  that  "union  activities  are 
guaranteed  to  workers"  but  "must  be  used  for  the  elevation  of 
the  conscience  of  the  proletarian  class  and  for  the 


16 


BENIN 

augmentation  and  continued  development  of  production."   When 
labor  actions  and  arrests  occasionally  occur  in  Benin,  they 
usually  involve  students  or  professionals  and  take  the  form  of 
brief  work  stoppages  to  protest  such  things  as  late 
scholarship  or  salary  payments. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Christianity,  Islam,  and  traditional  religions  all  coexist  in 
Benin,  and  adherence  to  a  particular  faith  does  not  confer  any 
special  status  or  benefit.   There  are  no  restrictions  on 
religious  ceremonies  or  teachings,  and  religious  conversion  is 
freely  permitted. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Domestic  movement  is  not  restricted.   International  movement 
is  controlled  in  that  a  passport  and  exit  permission  must  be 
obtained  for  travel  to  other  than  West  African  countries; 
obtaining  these  documents,  however,  is  not  difficult. 
Economic  rather  than  governmental  constraints  usually  preclude 
travel  outside  the  region.   There  are  no  restrictions  placed 
on  residence  within  Benin,  except  for  recently  released 
prisoners  who  may  be  subject  to  travel  restrictions. 
Emigration  is  common  in  Benin.   Many  Beninese  move  to 
neighboring  countries  to  earn  a  livelihood  without 
jeopardizing  their  citizenship.   Beninese  living  abroad  are 
encouraged  by  the  Government  to  return  home  to  help  develop 
their  country,  but  only  a  small  number  have  done  so. 

By  far  the  largest  group  of  displaced  persons  in  Benin  are 
Chadians  who  have  fled  the  fighting  in  their  country.   There 
are,  according  to  the  United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for 
Refugees,  about  3,500  displaced  Chadians  in  Benin.   Many  of 
these  are  now  permanently  settled  in  Benin,  although  they  are 
free  to  return  to  Chad  if  they  wish. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  current  one-party  political  system  provides  no  mechanism 
whereby  citizens  are  free  to  change  their  government. 
Leadership  is  exercised  by  President  Kerekou  and  a  small  group 
of  senior  party  officials,  many  of  whom  hold  positions  in  the 
Government.   The  electoral  process  allows  for  citizen 
participation  in  the  nomination  of  candidates  for  the  National 
Revolutionary  Assembly,  in  theory  the  principal  decisionmaking 
body  of  the  Government.   Party  membership  is  neither  a 
requisite  for  participation  in  this  process  nor  for  high 
office  or  civil  service  employment.   The  final  selection  of 
candidates  for  the  single  national  slate,  however,  is  made  by 
the  party  leadership.   No  opposition  parties  or  slates  are 
permitted.   The  Assembly  itself  rarely  takes  issue  with 
policies  formulated  by  the  party  leadership. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  considers  any  outside  attempt  to  investigate 
human  rights  practices  in  Benin  to  be  interference  in  its 
internal  affairs.   In  February  1986,  the  Government  deposited 
instruments  of  ratification  for  the  African  Charter  on  Human 
and  People's  Rights. 


17 


BENIN 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Historically,  Beninese  women  have  played  a  major  role  in  the 
commercial  sector  as  well  as  in  small-scale  family  farming. 
Women  have  not  had  the  same  educational  opportunities  as  men. 
Most  boys  now  attend  primary  school,  but  only  about  one  out  of 
every  two  girls  is  in  the  primary  grades.   Nevertheless,  the 
Government  officially  encourages  new  opportunities  for  women 
and,  while  there  are  no  women  in  ministerial  positions,  a 
number  of  women  figure  prominently  in  executive  level  positions 
in  the  presidency  and  in  the  various  ministries.   There  are 
two  women  on  the  Central  Committee  of  the  party.   The  ruling 
party  has  a  women's  organization--the  Organisation  des  Femmes 
Revolutionnaires  du  Benin  (OFRB) .   As  do  other  specialized 
party  organizations,  the  OFRB  serves  to  transmit  party  policy 
to  its  members.   It  also  provides  a  channel  for  women's  views 
to  be  made  known  to  the  party  leadership. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

The  Government  has  given  vigorous  support  to  policies  designed 
to  improve  the  conditions  of  average  workers  in  both  the 
industrial  and  agricultural  sectors.   It  has,  for  example, 
committed  itself  to  the  gradual  extension  of  free  or  low-cost 
medical  care  and  social  services;  legislated  minimum  wage 
levels  (approximately  $50  per  month)  and  occupational  safety 
conditions;  and  established  procedures  and  mechanisms  for  the 
protection  of  worker  rights,  including  legislation  prohibiting 
child  labor.   The  Beninese  Labor  Code  establishes  a  40-hour 
workweek  and  implicitly  defines  a  "minimum  age"  by  authorizing 
participation  in  the  social  security  system  beginning  at  age 
14.   The  civil  service  administration  will  not  hire  persons 
under  18.   In  many  instances,  however,  the  Government's 
ability  to  enforce  these  policies  and  regulations  is  limited 
by  a  shortage  of  administrative  and  financial  resources  and  by 
the  need  for  the  entire  family  to  farm  subsistence  plots  of 
land. 


18 


BOTSWANA 


Botswana  is  a  multiparty  democracy  with  free  elections,  an 
independent  judiciary,  a  small  police  force,  and  a 
well-disciplined  army  subordinate  to  civilian  authority. 
Under  the  Constitution,  executive  power  is  vested  in  the 
President,  who  is  chosen  in  a  national  election  for  a  5-year 
term.   The  most  recent  election  was  in  1984.   The  President, 
Quett  K.J.  Masire,  selects  the  Cabinet  from  the  National 
Assembly.   One  party  continues  to  dominate  the  country's 
politics:   the  Botswana  Democratic  Party  (BDP),  which  has  held 
a  majority  in  the  National  Assembly  since  independence  and  at 
the  end  of  1987  controlled  28  of  34  elective  seats. 

Botswana  encourages  private  enterprise  and  free  trade.   All 
citizens,  including  those  whites  who  accepted  Botswana 
citizenship,  are  free  to  participate  in  the  economic  and 
political  life  of  the  country.   Exploitation  of  the  country's 
mineral  resources  has  stimulated  economic  growth  (excluding 
mining)  by  5.4  percent  from  1983-87.   Mining  alone  grew  at  an 
average  rate  of  31.9  percent  in  the  same  period.   The  diamond 
subsector  recorded  a  price  increase  of  14.5  percent  in  1986. 
Per  capita  gross  domestic  product  increased  from  $69  in  1966 
to  about  $1,000  in  1987.   About  75  percent  of  the  population 
live  in  rural  areas  and  are  dependent  for  their  livelihoods  on 
subsistence  farming. 

Botswana's  human  rights  record  generally  remains  very  good. 
Citizens  receive  equal  protection  under  the  law;  domestic 
political  violence  is  rare;  public  debate,  including  that  in 
the  press,  is  lively;  and  several  women  hold  positions  of 
importance  in  the  public  and  private  sector.   Botswana 
suffered  continued  pressure  from  neighboring  South  Africa  in 
1987,  which  has  forced  the  Government  to  retain  special 
security  procedures  such  as  roadblock  checkpoints. 

Botswana  has  maintained  a  reputation  of  courteous  and 
efficient  handling  of  travelers.   Therefore,  an  incident  of 
particular  concern  was  the  April  1987  fatal  shooting  of  an 
unarmed  British/Zimbabwean  national  by  a  Botswana  Defense 
Force  (BDF)  soldier  at  a  roadblock  checkpoint.   Appropriate 
procedures  were  initially  followed,  including  arrest  of  the 
soldier  and  police  and  BDF  investigations,  but  no  action  was 
taken  against  the  soldier,  who  has  since  returned  to  duty  at 
roadblocks.   No  trial  was  held,  the  results  of  the 
investigations  were  not  made  public,  and  there  is  no  evidence 
that  checkpoint  procedures  have  been  improved  to  preclude  a 
similar  occurrence. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  Killing 

The  Government  has  never  been  accused  of  involvement  in 
political  killings.   There  is  no  guerrilla  or  insurgency 
activity  directed  against  the  Government.   However,  a  bomb 
blast  in  Gaborone  in  March,  for  which  the  Government 
eventually  blamed  the  South  African  Government,  resulted  in 
the  deaths  of  three  persons. 


19 

BOTSWANA 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  disappearance 
in  1987.   The  Constitution  provides  for  the  protection  of 
personal  liberty.   The  National  Security  Act  of  1986  grants 
the  Government  the  authority  to  hold  detainees  incommunicado 
on  security  grounds  for  an  indefinite  period  of  time;  however, 
there  have  been  no  arrests  or  detentions  made  under  this  Act. 
Some  persons  have  been  arrested  under  existing  criminal 
statutes  dealing  with  possession  of  firearms,  weapons,  or 
contraband.   There  is  no  evidence  that  the  National  Security 
Act  has  seriously  affected  judicial  procedures  or  led  to  the 
"disappearance"  of  any  detainees. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

There  have  been  some  reports  of  improper  treatment  by  the 
police  of  persons  in  custody  during  1987.  This  includes  a  case 
in  which  a  defendant  alleged  that  his  confession  had  been 
coerced,  and  the  magistrate  ruled  the  confession  inadmissible 
due  to  "improper  police  procedures."   The  ruling  did  not 
specify  that  physical  abuse  had  occurred,  but  there  have  been 
other  reports  of  physical  mistreatment  by  police.   There  are 
no  indications  that  systematic  abuses  are  officially  condoned 
or  permitted. 

Prison  conditions  allow  for  adequate  diet,  health  care,  and 
visits  from  family  members.   Flogging  is  permitted  for 
infractions  of  prison  rules  and  is  mandatory  punishment  for 
rape,  attempted  rape,  armed  robbery,  burglary,  housebreaking, 
and  related  offenses.   Traditional  tribal  courts  presided  over 
by  a  chief,  where  jurisdiction  is  limited  to  minor  offenses, 
may  also  sentence  individuals  to  be  flogged. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

The  Botswana  Constitution  contains  a  provision  protecting 
citizens  from  arbitrary  arrest.   This  provision  still  applies 
despite  the  passage  of  the  1986  National  Security  Act. 
Preventive  detention  is  illegal,  and  habeas  corpus  exists  both 
in  law  and  practice.   Police  are  required  to  bring  a  suspect 
before  a  magistrate  for  charging  within  48  hours  of  his 
arrest.   There  is  a  functioning  system  of  bail,  and  defendants 
have  access  to  lawyers  of  their  own  choosing. 

In  security  cases  not  covered  under  the  1986  Act,  the  suspect 
must  be  arraigned  within  96  hours  of  his  arrest.   In 
nonsecurity  cases,  suspects  must  be  released  after  48  hours 
unless  the  magistrate  issues  a  warrant  of  detention,  which  is 
valid  for  14  days.   Every  14  days  the  police  must  appear 
before  the  magistrate  and  show  they  are  making  progress  in  the 
case.   To  date  there  have  been  no  known  abuses  of  this  system. 

Forced  labor  is  illegal  and  is  not  practiced. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  right  to  a  fair  public  trial  is  provided  by  law  and 
honored  in  practice;  trials  involving  national  security, 
however,  may  be  closed  to  the  public.   Defendants  are  entitled 
to  counsel;  consultation  between  defendants  and  counsel  may  be 
held  in  private.  There  are  clearly  defined  appeal  procedures. 

The  judiciary  is  independent  of  the  executive  and  the  military 


20 


BOTSWANA 

and  consists  of  a  High  Court  (which  is  the  trial  court  with 
general  civil  and  criminal  jurisdiction),  Court  of  Appeals, 
local  magistrate  courts,  and  customary  courts.   The  High  Court 
has  ruled  that  there  exists  the  right  against  self- 
incrimination  in  the  courts.   Moreover,  silence  cannot  be 
construed  as  guilt,  and  the  burden  of  proof  remains  with  the 
prosecution  except  in  security  matters.   Since  no  case  has  yet 
been  tried  under  the  National  Security  Act,  legal  practice 
under  its  provisions  is  not  yet  clear.   There  are  no  political 
prisoners  in  Botswana. 

Botswana  created  a  Customary  Court  of  Appeal  in  1986, 
permitting  cases  tried  in  the  traditional  court  system  (which 
exists  alongside  the  magistrates  courts)  the  right  to  appeal 
judgments  in  familial  and  property  cases.   Since  this  Court 
began  operating  in  February  1986,  204  criminal  appeals  and  197 
civil  appeals  have  been  heard. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

These  rights  are  safeguarded  by  law  and  respected  in 
practice.   A  search  warrant  issued  by  a  magistrate  is  required 
for  an  official  to  enter  a  private  residence,  except  in  cases 
of  suspected  diamond  theft,  drug  trafficking,  or  national 
security  matters.   There  were  no  reported  instances  in  which 
this  authority  was  used  for  diamond  or  drug-related  cases  in 
1987,  and  the  Government  did  not  state  whether  the  powers  of 
search  contained  in  the  new  National  Security  Act  were  used. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Freedom  of  speech  and  of  the  press  are  guaranteed  by  the 
Constitution  and  are  respected  in  practice.   The 
government-owned  newspaper  and  radio  continue  to  report 
statements  by  all  opposition  parties.   Three  independent 
weekly  newspapers  publish  articles  on  a  wider  range  of  views 
than  the  government-owned  media.   Two  non-Motswana  editors  of 
one  of  the  independent  newspapers  were  declared  prohibited 
immigrants  during  1987,  and  returned  to  their  countries  of 
or igin--Zambia  and  South  Africa.   There  was  some  concern  that 
politics  may  have  been  a  motivating  factor  in  this  decision. 
There  has  been  no  confirmation  of  this,  however,  and  the 
newspaper  has  continued  to  publish  without  visible  changes  in 
reporting  style  or  content.   The  independent  press,  along  with 
an  effective  judiciary  and  a  functioning  democratic  political 
system,  combine  to  uphold  freedom  of  speech  and  of  the  press. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Freedom  of  assembly  is  a  well-established  tradition  in 
Botswana,  exemplified  by  the  Kgotla,  a  communal  gathering 
similar  to  a  New  England  town  meeting,  in  which  citizens 
freely  question  leaders  and  voice  opinions  on  local  politics. 
Kgotla  meetings  are  used  regularly  by  political  candidates  and 
members  of  Parliament,  including  ministers,  to  explain  their 
programs  to  the  people.   Large  gatherings  require  local  police 
approval,  which  is  routinely  given.   Demonstrations  are 
permitted  so  long  as  order  is  maintained.   Organizers  are 
required  to  submit  a  detailed  plan  for  any  demonstration  and 
are  personally  responsible  for  ensuring  that  the  plan  is 
followed. 


21 


BOTSWANA 

Unions  have  the  right  to  organize,  to  bargain  collectively, 
and  to  strike  after  exhausting  established  procedures,  which 
require  that  the  Government  be  invited  to  arbitrate  the 
dispute.   In  practice,  strikes  are  very  rare  and  usually 
quickly  settled.   Unions  have  chafed  under  government 
regulations  which  prohibit  financial  contributions  to  unions 
from  outside  Botswana  and  require  that  all  union  leaders 
continue  to  work  full-time  in  the  trade  their  union 
represents,  thus  preventing  employment  of  paid,  full-time 
union  organizers.   Unions  are  important  in  the  country's 
largest  industries  (mining-related)  but  have  not  yet  developed 
a  base  in  other  sectors  of  the  economy.   Completely 
independent  of  government  control  or  party  affiliation,  unions 
in  Botswana  actively  represent  their  members. 

Unions  associate  freely  with  international  organizations,  and 
members  attend  international  conferences.   The  Botswana 
Federation  of  Trade  Unions  (BFTU)  is  affiliated  with  the 
International  Confederation  of  Free  Trade  Unions  and  is  also  a 
member  of  the  Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity  and 
the  Southern  African  Trade  Union  Coordination  Council 
(SATUCC) .   The  Government  expelled  the  Malawian  Executive 
Secretary  of  SATUCC  in  1986,  which  caused  the  Secretariat  to 
leave  Botswana.   Recently  the  Government  has  expressed  an 
interest  in  having  the  executive  secretariat  return  to 
Botswana  with  different  personnel. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Open  practice  of  religion  is  permitted  and  encouraged.   There 
is  no  state  religion.   While  most  residents  identify 
themselves  with  Christian  denominations,  active  groups  of 
Muslims,  Hindus,  Baha'is,  and  others  practice  their  faiths 
freely.   Religious  affiliation  is  neither  an  advantage  nor 
disadvantage  politically  or  socially.   Religious  conversion  is 
permitted,  and  missionaries  are  allowed  to  enter  the  country 
and  proselytize.   Foreign  clergy  are  also  permitted  to  enter 
Botswana  and  to  serve  expatriate  congregations. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Botswana  citizens  are  subject  to  virtually  no  restrictions  on 
emigration  or  repatriation.   Domestic  and  foreign  travel  are 
unrestricted  and  passports  are  easily  obtained.   Refugees 
documented  by  the  United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for 
Refugees  (UNHCR)  are  generally  required  to  live  in  the 
settlement  at  Dukwe  in  northern  Botswana  where  conditions  are 
relatively  good,  due  mainly  to  contributions  of  international 
donor  organizations.   Refugees  may  be  authorized  to  live 
elsewhere  for  reasons  such  as  employment  or  schooling.   As 
with  other  foreigners  in  Botswana,  refugees  are  not  permitted 
to  accept  jobs  which  could  be  filled  by  local  citizens. 

Due  to  allegations  from  some  neighboring  countries  that 
refugees  are  using  Botswana  as  a  sanctuary  in  which  to  pursue 
activities  against  the  governments  of  their  respective  home 
countries,  Botswana  has  declared  that  Dukwe  residents  found 
outside  the  camp  without  permission  will  be  considered  to  have 
abandoned  refugee  status  and  will  be  repatriated  as  a 
deterrent  to  questionable  activities  by  other  refugees. 

Amnesty  International,  in  its  1987  report,  stressed  its 
concern  about  the  Government's  forcible  repatriation  of 
several  refugees  to  Zimbabwe  in  1986.   Recent  involuntary 


22 


BOTSWANA 

repatriations  of  Zimbabweans  seemed  to  concern  economic 
migrants  who  did  not  seek  protection  offered  by  the 
Government.   The  UNHCR  has  registered  its  concern  that  all 
refugees  have  full  opportunity  to  meet  UNHCR  personnel  prior 
to  repatriation.   The  Government  has  indicated  its  willingness 
to  provide  protection  officers  access  to  refugees. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Botswana  is  ruled  by  a  government  freely  elected  by  its 
people.   In  the  1984  national  election  (the  fifth  since 
Botswana  became  independent) ,  an  estimated  70  percent  of  the 
eligible  voters  registered,  and  86  percent  of  the  registered 
voters  actually  cast  their  ballots.   In  1986  Botswana  held  an 
important  by-election  in  which  an  opposition  party  candidate 
won  by  a  sizable  majority  despite  a  hard-fought  campaign  by  the 
country's  ruling  party.   Another  by-election  in  1987  resulted 
again  in  an  opposition  candidate  retaining  the  parliamentary 
seat  vacated  by  a  colleague  who  had  lost  it  as  a  result  of  a 
conviction  on  possession  of  a  stolen  vehicle. 

There  are  five  parties  in  Botswana,  three  of  which  are 
represented  in  the  country's  National  Assembly.   Opposition 
parties  are  particularly  strong  in  the  urban  areas,  including 
Gaborone,  Jwaneng,  and  Francistown.   However,  one  party,  the 
Botswana  Democratic  Party  (BDP),  continues  to  dominate  the 
country's  politics,  having  held  a  majority  in  the  National 
Assembly  since  independence  in  1966. 

The  political  rights  of  women  and  minority  groups  are 
generally  observed.   For  example,  there  are  two  female  members 
of  Parliament,  one  the  Minister  of  External  Affairs,  the  other 
the  Executive  Secretary  of  the  majority  party.   Several 
members  of  minority  ethnic  groups  are  also  represented  in  the 
National  Assembly;  one  white  Member  of  Parliament  is  also  a 
cabinet  minister,  and  the  Speaker  of  the  National  Assembly  is 
white.   Several  cabinet  ministers  are  from  small  minority 
ethnic  groups. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

Botswana  cooperates  with  international  agencies  concerned  with 
human  rights,  most  notably  the  UNHCR,  which  maintains  offices 
within  Botswana.   There  are  no  Botswana-based  organizations 
set  up  to  observe,  report,  or  contest  human  rights  violations. 
The  Government  consistently  has  responded  promptly  and 
forthrightly  to  inguiries  on  the  human  rights  situation  in 
Botswana  but  usually  refrains  from  public  comment  on  alleged 
human  rights  violations  in  neighboring  countries.   However, 
Botswana  condemns  apartheid  and  advocates  positive 
socioeconomic  development  in  South  Africa. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

While  95  percent  of  the  population  is  made  up  of  Tswana  who 
are  divided  into  eight  subgroups,  ethnic  differences  do  exist 
in  Botswana,  though  they  play  a  marginal  role  in  the  country's 
politics.   Only  the  approximately  50,000  Basarwa,  or  Bushmen, 
remain  generally  unrepresented  in  government.    Because  the 
Basarwa  live  primarily  in  remote,  rural  areas  and  have  little 
contact  with  the  population  centers  of  Botswana,  they  remain 


23 


BOTSWANA 

relatively  unaffected  by  government  educational  and  economic 
assistance  programs  and,  consequently,  have  participated  only 
marginally  in  the  country's  political  life.   The  Government 
does  not  oppress  or  deny  them  rights,  and  they  have  full 
voting  rights. 

Women  hold  approximately  24  percent  of  the  paid  jobs  in 
Botswana.   An  estimated  41  percent  of  central  government 
employees  are  women,  many  of  them,  as  noted,  in  high-level 
positions.   While  there  is  little  overt  discrimination, 
statistics  suggest  that  social  custom  elevates  the  perquisites 
and  privileges  of  men  above  those  of  women.   Some  40  percent 
of  rural  households  are  headed  by  women.   Generally  speaking, 
women's  economic  opportunities--access  to  capital,  labor, 
draft  animals,  seeds  for  farming--are  significantly  worse  than 
those  of  men.   Women  may  choose  between  civil  marriage,  in 
which  all  property  is  held  in  common,  or  customary  marriage, 
which  recognizes  individual  property  brought  to  a  marriage. 
Most  women  are  not  aware  of  the  implications  of  these 
alternatives,  however.   Often  a  married  woman  is  unable  to 
obtain  a  bank  loan  without  the  signature  of  her  husband,  and 
an  unmarried  woman  must  obtain  the  signature  of  her  father. 
The  Government  has  assisted  in  the  publication  of  a  women's 
rights  handbook,  and  has  established  preference  points  for 
women  seeking  government-sponsored  development  loans. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Botswana  law  prevents  the  employment  of  children  12  years  and 
younger  by  anyone  except  members  of  the  child's  immediate 
family.   No  juvenile  under  the  age  of  15  can  be  employed  in 
industry,  and  only  those  over  16  can  be  employed  in  night 
work.   No  person  16  or  younger  is  permitted  to  work  in 
hazardous  jobs,  including  mining.   Women  are  not  permitted  to 
work  at  night  (except  on  an  emergency  basis  in  agricultural 
work)  and  are  not  permitted  to  work  as  miners.   Moreover, 
Botswana  law  protects  young  people  from  recruiters  for  jobs 
outside  the  country.   The  law  also  provides  for  minimum, 
working  standards,  including  job  safety,  maxim.um  working  hours 
per  week,  and  a  minimum  wage.   For  some  jobs  during  certain 
seasons,  Botswana  law  permits  a  workweek  longer  than  48  hours 
(such  as  in  agriculture  during  the  harvest  season) .   Most 
major  manufacturers  adhere  to  the  labor  laws,  including 
payment  of  overtime  salaries  (time  and  a  half).   Some  smaller 
employers,  however,  fail  to  pay  overtime,  and  no  action  is 
taken  against  them. 


80-779  0  - 


24 


BURKINA  FASO 


Burkina  Faso,  one  of  the  world's  poorer  countries,  is  a  victim 
of  frequent  drought  and  has  been  subject  to  political 
instability.   From  August  1983,  Captain  Thomas  Sankara  held 
power  as  President  of  Burkina  Faso  until  he  was  replaced  on 
October  15,  1987  by  Captain  Blaise  Compaore,  President  of  the 
Front  Populaire,  in  the  country's  fourth  military  coup  since 
1980.   No  political  party  activities  have  been  permitted  since 
1980,  and  there  are  no  indications  that  the  country  will  return 
to  constitutional  rule.   Instead,  the  Government  uses  a  network 
of  Committees  for  the  Defense  of  the  Revolution  (CDR) , 
organized  at  national,  regional,  and  local  levels  to  mobilize 
the  population  and  promote  its  revolutionary  goals. 

The  Burkina  Faso  armed  forces  number  about  7,500  members, 
including  5,200  in  the  army,  100  in  the  air  force,  and  2,200 
in  the  paramilitary  gendarmerie  and  the  police.   It  is  not 
known  if  the  security  police  (DST)  still  exist  under  the  new 
regime.   The  CDRs  also  function  as  a  people's  militia  and 
occasionally  detain  individuals  without  public  charges  or 
proceedings . 

Burkina  Faso  is  overwhelmingly  tied  to  subsistence  agriculture, 
with  90  percent  of  the  population  living  in  rural  areas.   The 
economy  is  highly  vulnerable  to  fluctuations  in  rainfall. 
Frequent  drought,  lack  of  communications  and  other 
infrastructure,  a  low  literacy  rate,  and  a  stagnant  economy 
are  all  longstanding  problems. 

Human  rights  abuses  continued  in  1987.   A  key  event  before  the 
coup  was  the  detention  of  trade  union  personnel  and  related 
political  figures  beginning  late  in  May,  several  of  whom  may 
have  been  tortured.   Trials  of  businessmen  and  civil  servants, 
who  were  charged  almost  exclusively  with  fraud  and  corruption, 
continued  to  take  place  outside  the  traditional  judicial 
system  in  People's  Revolutionary  Courts  in  which  defendants 
may  not  be  represented  by  legal  counsel.   Civilian  and 
military  personnel  accused  of  lack  of  enthusiasm  for  the 
revolution  continued  to  be  dismissed  for  reasons  ranging  from 
misconduct  to  laziness,  although  in  lesser  numbers  than  in 
previous  years.   The  October  coup  and  its  aftermath  resulted 
in  the  loss  of  life  from  fighting  and  summary  executions  of 
about  30  persons,  including  former  President  Sankara.   The  new 
Government,  however,  released  all  political  prisoners, 
reinstated  previously  suspended  or  dismissed  government 
personnel,  and  allowed  teachers  who  had  been  fired  after  a 
1984  strike  to  resume  work. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1  Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  Killing 

This  year,  apart  from  the  military  and  civilian  personnel 
killed  during  the  coup  itself,  at  least  eight  military  and 
paramilitary  personnel  opposed  to  the  new  Government  were 
summarily  executed  in  the  period  immediately  following  that 
event.   Prior  to  the  coup,  there  were  no  known  political 
killings  during  1987.   President  Sankara  is  believed  to  have 
been  killed  in  a  gun  fight  during  the  coup. 


25 


BURKINA  FASO 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  disappearance. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

In  1987  there  were  allegations  of  torture  of  several  trade 
union  detainees.   In  its  1987  Report  (covering  1986),  Amnesty- 
International  stated  that  it  had  received  reports  about 
torture  and  ill-treatment  of  detainees  held  in  connection  with 
bomb  explosions  in  1985.   Some  prisoners  were  reported  to  have 
been  tortured  with  electric  shock,  burnt  with  cigarettes, 
beaten,  and  suspended  by  their  wrists  for  long  periods. 

Prison  conditions  are  poor. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Reports  of  arbitrary  arrest,  followed  at  times  by  incommunicado 
detention  for  days  or  months  without  charge,  continued  in 
1987.   In  some  cases,  though  far  fewer  than  in  previous  years, 
these  appear  to  have  been  initiated  by  poorly  trained  CDR 
security  personnel.   The  law  permits  preventive  detention 
without  charge  for  a  maximum  of  72  hours,  renewable  for  a 
single  72-hour  period  in  criminal  cases.   In  practice,  there 
are  frequent  violations  of  this  restriction  in  cases  involving 
both  Burkinabe  and  foreign  nationals,  especially  in  political 
cases.   In  addition,  in  cases  of  emergency  or  national 
security,  the  military  code  overrides  the  civil  code. 
Military  code  procedures  provide  for  continued  detention 
beyond  72  hours. 

Until  the  October  coup,  several  prominent  political 
personalities  of  former  regimes,  such  as  the  former  President, 
Colonel  Saye  Zerbo,  remained  under  a  loose  form  of  house 
arrest.   Others,  such  as  Paul  Rouamba,  former  Ambassador  to 
the  United  States  and  Ghana,  remained  imprisoned.   Under 
Sankara,  the  Government  began  a  series  of  arrests  in  1987  of 
leaders  of  one  of  the  four  major  labor  organizations,  the 
Burkinabe  Trade  Union  Confederation  (CSB) ,  starting  with  its 
Marxist  Secretary  General,  Soumane  Toure,  on  May  30. 
Subsequently,  some  30  CSB  members  and  political  allies  were 
detained  without  charge  or  trial  for  varying  periods.   Many 
were  still  in  detention  until  the  new  Government  freed  all 
political  prisoners.   On  July  2,  the  Secretary  General  of  the 
essentially  defunct  School  Teachers'  Union,  SNEAHV,  Jean  Bila, 
was  arrested  and  held  without  trial  until  the  coup.   The 
Government  forced  the  CSB  and  its  component  unions  to  elect 
new  leaders  in  June.   Nineteen  members  of  a  magistrates'  union 
lost  their  jobs  in  mid-1987,  reportedly  due  to  their  political 
views,  but  they  were  reinstated  following  the  coup.   The  new 
Government  detained  or  placed  under  house  arrest  several 
former  officials  from  the  Sankara  regime.   At  the  end  of  1987, 
some  were  still  being  held. 

Some  intellectuals,  military  officers,  and  former  government 
officials  have  stayed  in  self-imposed  exile,  partly  due  to 
fear  for  their  safety  should  they  return.   President  Sankara 
had  invited  exiles  to  return  home  several  times  in  recent 
years,  asking  them  to  participate  in  Burkina  Faso ' s  economic 
development.   The  new  Government,  like  its  predecessor,  has 
welcomed  opponents  of  the  previous  regime  to  return  home. 


26 


BURKINA  FASO 

Forced  or  compulsory  labor  is  prohibited  by  the  labor  code  and 
is  not  known  to  be  practiced. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

During  1987  the  People's  Revolutionary  Courts  continued  to  hear 
cases  primarily  involving  public  corruption.   The  president  of 
each  court  is  a  magistrate  appointed  by  the  Government  to  head 
a  tribunal  composed  of  magistrates,  military  personnel,  and 
members  of  the  CDRs .   The  Court  President  asks  questions 
directly  of  the  defendant.   There  is  no  role  for  a  public 
prosecutor,  and  the  accused  may  consult  but  not  be  represented 
by  counsel  during  the  session.   Witnesses  can  be  called  by  the 
Court,  or  they  can  present  themselves  to  give  testimony.   The 
Sankara  Government  preferred  to  use  military  courts,  rather 
than  the  regular  courts,  to  try  persons  charged  with  political 
and  security  offenses.   The  new  Government  did  not  try  any 
political  detainees  during  1987. 

President  Sankara  said  the  people's  courts  should  be  viewed  as 
a  permanent  part  of  the  country's  judicial  system.   The  Sankara 
Government  had  already  organized  a  series  of  similar  tribunals 
to  hear  minor  cases  at  the  village,  department,  and  province 
levels.   Most  of  the  judges  in  these  lower  level  courts  are 
popularly  elected.   The  Government's  oft-stated  aim  in 
establishing  these  peoples  courts  was  to  ensure  fair  access  to 
justice  for  an  overwhelmingly  illiterate,  impoverished 
population.   One  such  court  was  convened  to  try  corruption 
cases  after  the  new  Government  took  power. 

The  regular  judiciary,  patterned  after  the  French  system,  has 
continued  to  function  for  most  criminal  and  civil  cases. 
Defendants  traditionally  receive  a  fair  trial  and  are 
represented  by  counsel.   A  new  development  in  1987  was  the 
establishment  of  a  system  whereby  civil  service  attorneys  are 
appointed  to  represent  those  who  do  not  wish  to  retain  or  are 
unable  to  afford,  a  private  attorney.   While  these  civil 
servants  should  theoretically  make  legal  aid  widely  available 
and  enjoy  hypothetical  independence  of  the  Government,  some 
observers  believe  this  is  the  first  step  in  gradual  elimination 
of  independent  lawyers. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Government  authorities  generally  do  not  interfere  in  the  daily 
lives  of  ordinary  citizens,  and  there  is  no  general  monitoring 
of  private  correspondence  or  telephones.   In  theory,  homes  may 
be  searched  only  under  authority  of  a  warrant  issued  by  the 
Attorney  General.   However,  in  national  security  cases,  a 
special  law  permits  surveillance,  searches,  and  monitoring  of 
telephones  and  correspondence  without  a  warrant.   This  law  has 
been  used  against  persons  suspected  of  opposition  to  the 
Government . 

The  Sankara  Government  encouraged  participation  in  the  CDR 
organization.   Vigorous  participation  in  CDR  activities  helped 
in  obtaining  civil  service  appointments  and  promotions.   The 
Government  considered  opposition  to  CDR  activities  to  be 
political  opposition,  which  could  lead  in  serious  cases  to 
discharge  from  the  civil  service.   The  attitude  of  the  new 
Government  toward  citizen  participation  in  the  CDRs  remained 
unclear  at  the  end  of  1987. 


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Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

While  there  is  no  formal  government  censorship,  references  by 
the  regime  to  enemies  of  the  State  at  home  and  abroad  inhibit 
both  government-employed  journalists  and  ordinary  citizens 
from  expressing  critical  views.   This  is  reinforced  by 
occasional  dismissals  from  government  service  and  reports  of 
arbitrary  arrest,  dampening  a  lively  tradition  of  debate  on 
political  topics. 

Under  the  control  of  the  Minister  of  Information,  the  media, 
which  consist  of  a  daily  and  a  weekly  newspaper,  a  weekly 
magazine,  and  radio  and  television  stations,  are  government 
owned.   There  is  no  serious  criticism  of  the  Government  as  a 
whole  in  the  media,  but  there  is  selected  criticism  of 
officials  and  programs,  particularly  in  a  new  satirical 
government  weekly  newspaper. 

Foreign  newspapers  and  magazines  were  permitted  to  enter  the 
country  freely  during  1987,  both  before  and  after  the  coup. 
Foreign  journalists  could  travel  and  file  stories  without 
censorship  or  hindrance  and  enjoyed  easy  access  to  government 
officials.   The  new  Government  allowed  extensive  and  uncensored 
coverage  of  postcoup  events  by  foreign  journalists  for  about  2 
weeks.   Then  several  journalists  who  had  been  particularly 
aggressive  in  interviewing  high  school  students  about  their 
reactions  to  the  coup  were  detained  briefly  and  released. 
Following  the  publication  of  similar  stories  by  the  magazine 
Jeune  Afrique,  the  government  radio  station  attacked  the 
magazine's  reporting. 

In  the  arts,  movies  are  subject  to  censorship  by  a  review 
board  which  includes  religious  authorities  as  well  as 
government  officials.   During  1987  a  wide  variety  of  American, 
French,  and  other  foreign  films  were  shown.   In  1987  there 
were  no  known  instances  of  political  censorship  of  films. 
There  is  no  interference  with  international  radio  broadcasts. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Under  both  the  Sankara  and  Compaore  Governments,  political 
parties  are  banned,  and  administrative  permission  is  generally 
required  for  assemblies  of  any  kind.   Monpolitical  associations 
for  business,  religious,  cultural,  sporting,  and  other  purposes 
are  allowed  and  experience  no  difficulty  in  obtaining 
permission  to  meet. 

Organized  labor  continues  to  be  an  important  force  in 
Burkina.   There  are  four  labor  f ederations--of  which  the 
largest  is  affiliated  with  the  International  Confederation  of 
Free  Trade  Unions.   There  are  also  a  number  of  autonomous 
unions.   The  federations  take  turns  representing  organized 
labor  at  the  International  Labor  Organization  meetings  and 
participate  in  African  regional  labor  meetings  as  well. 

Unions  have  the  right  to  bargain  for  increased  wages  and  other 
benefits  within  a  specific  bargaining  unit  such  as  a  company 
or  factory  but  cannot  bargain  industry-wide.   They  represent 
the  interests  of  their  members  in  the  private  and  public 
sectors,  as  well  as  before  the  labor  inspection  service  of  the 
Government  and  before  the  courts.   All  unions  jealously  guard 
their  limited  independence  from  the  Government.   Organized 
labor  has  the  formal  right  to  strike,  but  the  Sankara 


28 


BURKINA  FASO 

Government  eliminated  this  right  in  practice.   The  attitude  of 
the  new  military  Government  on  the  right  to  strike  was  not 
clear  at  the  end  of  1987. 

The  Sankara  Government  made  a  major  effort  in  1987  to  bring 
some  elements  of  the  labor  movement  in  line  with  government 
policies,  notably  in  the  case  of  the  CSB  confederation  (see 
Section  1 .d. ) . 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Burkina  Paso  is  a  secular  state,  and  there  is  no  discrimination 
on  religious  grounds.   Islam  and  Christianity  exist  side  by 
side,  with  almost  40  percent  of  the  population  Muslim  and 
about  10  percent  Christian.   The  remainder  of  the  population 
practices  traditional  African  religions.   Both  Muslim  and 
Christian  holidays  are  recognized  as  national  holidays. 
Social  mobility  and  access  to  modern  sector  jobs  are  neither 
linked  to,  nor  restricted  by,  religious  affiliations. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Travelers  within  Burkina  Faso  are  often  stopped  at  police, 
army,  and  internal  customs  checkpoints.   There  appears  to  be 
little  restriction  on  foreign  travel  for  business  and 
tourism.   Exit  permits,  once  used  to  limit  movements  of 
workers  to  neighboring  countries,  particularly  to  the  Cote 
d'lvoire  where  1  million  or  more  Burkinabe  continue  to  reside 
and  work,  are  no  longer  required. 

Refugees  are  accepted  freely  in  Burkina  Faso,  and  attempts  are 
made  to  provide  for  their  care  in  cooperation  with  the  United 
Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees.   There  were 
approximately  250  refugees  and  displaced  persons  in  Burkina 
Faso  at  the  end  of  1987,  mainly  from  Chad. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Neither  under  the  last  Chief  of  State,  President  Sankara,  nor 
under  the  rule  of  the  President  of  the  Front  Populaire, 
Captain  Blaise  Compaore,  have  the  citizens  had  the  right  to 
change  their  government.   Despite  four  changes  in  leadership 
since  1980,  the  military  has  dominated  the  political  process. 
Captain  Compaore  told  a  journalist  late  in  October  that  his 
ambition  is  to  limit,  then  to  disengage,  the  army  from  playing 
a  role  in  politics.   He  pledged  to  move  toward 
"democratization"  of  the  country. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  has  made  no  attempt  to  hinder  the  activities  of 
international  human  rights  organizations.   In  March  1986,  the 
Sankara  Government  invited  Amnesty  International  to  send  a 
delegate  to  observe  the  trial  of  an  official  charged  with 
embezzlement  of  funds.   (The  organization  declined  on  the 
grounds  that  the  case  appeared  to  be  solely  a  criminal  matter, 
and  thus  was  outside  its  mandate.)   The  new  Government's 
attitude  toward  the  European  Parliament's  November  resolution 
condemning  the  assassination  of  Sankara  was  unknown. 


29 


BURKINA  FASO 

A  government-supported  organization  lobbies  against  the  South 
African  apartheid  system  and  other  racial  oppression,  but  it 
makes  no  effort  to  look  into  domestic  human  rights  issues  or 
foreign  practices  other  than  racial  discrimination. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language  or  Social  Status 

Minority  ethnic  groups  are  as  likely  to  be  represented  in  the 
inner  circles  of  the  Government  as  are  the  dominant  Mossi,  who 
comprise  50  percent  of  the  population.   Government  decisions 
do  not  favor  one  ethnic  group  over  another.   One  ostensible 
reason  for  the  1983  increase  in  administrative  regions  from  11 
to  30  was  to  improve  access  of  minority  groups  to  local 
administrative  authorities. 

The  role  of  women  in  Burkina  Faso  is  still  limited  by  the 
cultural  orientation  of  a  rural  African  society.   Women  are 
important  in  family  farming  and  in  the  market  economy.   The 
Sankara  Government  emphasized  its  strong  commitment  to 
expanding  opportunities  for  women  and  appointed  a  number  of 
women  to  cabinet  positions  and  other  government  jobs.   The  new 
Government  has  not  taken  formal  positions  on  the  status  of 
women,  but  3  women  remain  in  the  Cabinet. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

The  labor  code  sets  the  minimum  age  for  employment  at  14,  the 
average  age  for  completion  of  basic  secondary  school. 
However,  the  Government  lacks  the  means  to  enforce  this 
provision  adequately,  owing  to  the  large  number  of  small, 
family  subsistence  farms,  and  the  traditional  apprenticeship 
system.   A  minimum  monthly  wage  of  about  $75  and  a  maximum 
workweek  of  48  hours  are  stipulated  by  the  labor  code,  as  are 
safety  and  health  provisions.   A  system  of  government 
inspections  and  labor  courts  ensures  that  these  provisions  are 
applied  in  the  small  industrial  and  commercial  sectors,  but 
they  have  been  impossible  to  enforce  in  the  dominant 
subsistence  agriculture  sector. 


30 


BURUNDI 


The  Republic  of  Burundi  is  a  one-party  state  led  by  President 
Pierre  Buyoya ,  an  army  major  who  came  to  power  in  September 
1987  through  a  bloodless  coup.   At  present,  the  nation  is  ruled 
through  a  31-member  Military  Committee  for  National  Salvation, 
but  Buyoya  has  promised  a  speedy  return  to  civilian  government, 
and  16  of  20  ministers  named  recently  are  civilians.   The 
National  Party  for  Unity  and  Progress  (UPRONA)  is  the  only 
significant  political  entity  in  Burundi.   As  President  of  the 
Republic  and  head  of  the  ruling  military  committee,  Buyoya 
plays  a  dominant  policy  role.   With  the  Constitution  suspended 
officially,  Buyoya  currently  exercises  legislative  and 
regulatory  powers  as  well.   The  dominance  of  the  minority 
Tutsi  over  the  majority  Hutu  ethnic  group  has  been  the  central 
political  and  social  reality  of  Burundi  for  several  centuries, 
and  continues  under  the  new  Government,  although  Buyoya  has 
announced  a  policy  of  tribal  reconciliation  and  has  promised 
to  increase  Hutu  participation  in  the  country's  emerging 
political  institutions  and  even  in  the  military. 

The  Burundi  Armed  Forces  are  well  equipped  and  well  trained  to 
maintain  law  and  order.   In  addition,  there  is  a  regular  police 
force  responsible  for  public  order  and  a  separate  force  of 
security  police  responsible  primarily  for  internal  state 
security,  including  the  monitoring  of  dissent.   The  state 
security  police  have  the  same  powers  of  arrest  as  the  regular 
police  and  are  subject  to  the  same  process  of  judicial  review 
of  detentions. 

Burundi  is  a  poor  country  with  one  of  the  highest  population 
densities  in  Africa.   Most  Burundi  (90  percent)  earn  their 
livelihood  as  subsistence  farmers  working  small,  privately 
owned  plots.   The  small  monetary  economy  is  based  on  coffee, 
which  accounts  for  85  percent  of  foreign  exchange  earnings. 
Recent  gains  in  food  production  and  agriculture  have  been 
largely  offset  by  the  high  population  growth  rate. 

The  major  development  in  1987  was  the  coup  d'etat  which 
brought  Buyoya  to  power.   In  the  months  prior  to  the  coup,  the 
Government  of  former  President  Bagaza  took  an  increasingly 
hard  line  against  any  form  of  dissent.   In  particular,  Bagaza 
sought  to  weaken,  if  not  destroy,  the  Roman  Catholic  Church 
through  church  closings,  the  arrest  and  expulsion  of  priests, 
and  the  placement  of  severe  restrictions  on  the  freedom  to 
worship.   Other  religions  were  persecuted  also,  and  large 
numbers  of  Seventh-Day  Adventists  and  Jehovah's  Witnesses  were 
imprisoned  without  charge  under  harsh  conditions.   Bagaza's 
excesses  were  a  major  cause  of  resentment  against  the  old 
Government  and  Buyoya  has  made  the  protection  of  human  rights 
a  major  goal  of  his  administration.   In  the  first  days 
following  the  coup,  the  Military  Committee  freed  all  political 
prisoners,  announced  a  partial  amnesty  for  other  prisoners, 
opened  the  closed  churches,  and  invited  all  exiles  to  return. 
By  mid-October,  Buyoya  had  announced  further  liberalization, 
including  authorization  for  weekday  masses  and  religious 
schools  and  the  reinstitution  of  the  office  of  catechist. 
Buyoya  also  has  encouraged  discussion  and  pledged  wide 
democratic  debate  within  the  party  structure.   The  new 
President  has  preserved  the  civilian  character  of  the 
bureaucracy  and  taken  steps  to  reduce  corruption.   The 
Military  Committee  is  moving  more  slowly  in  reinstituting  the 
national  assembly,  with  elections  not  expected  for  several 
years.   While  the  Constitution  has  been  suspended,  government 
operations  which  rely  on  constitutional  provisions  continue  as 
before. 


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BURUNDI 


RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 


Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  allegations  of  killings  for  political  motives  or 
reports  of  summary  executions. 

b.  Disappearance 

No  disappearances  caused  by  the  Government  or  by  other  groups 
were  reported.   Prison  authorities  during  the  Bagaza  era 
reportedly  could  not  account  for  all  persons  who  had  been 
detained,  but  whether  those  unaccounted  for  died  in  prison, 
escaped,  or  were  released  remains  to  be  determined. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Torture  is  forbidden  by  law,  but  prior  to  the  coup  cruel 
treatment  of  suspects  or  detainees  often  occurred  in  the  form 
of  beatings  at  the  time  of  arrest  or  interrogation.   These 
beatings,  when  combined  with  other  harsh  conditions, 
occasionally  led  to  serious  injury  or  even  death.   In  fact, 
two  Jehovah's  Witnesses  are  reported  to  have  died  in  May  as  a 
direct  result  of  such  mistreatment.   Since  the  coup,  there 
have  been  no  reports  of  torture  or  cruel  punishment.   The  new 
Government  has  expressed  an  interest  in  having  regular  visits 
by  the  International  Committee  of  the  Red  Cross  (ICRC). 
Prison  conditions  remain  severe  due  to  the  lack  of  adequate 
hygiene,  medical  care,  and  food.   Prisoners  are  segregated 
according  to  the  nature  of  their  crimes,  allowed  regular  family 
visits,  and  participate  in  rehabilitative  work  programs, 
including  agricultural  production.   Due  to  inadequate  prison 
budgets,  food  rations  are  likely  to  remain  limited,  and 
families  are  encouraged  and  expected  to  provide  supplemental 
food  and  other  personal  items  to  their  imprisoned  relatives. 
The  Government  recognizes  this  is  a  serious  problem  and  has 
begun  a  program  of  prison  renovation. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Police  officers  are  empowered  to  detain  suspects  without  an 
arrest  warrant  but  must  submit  a  written  report  to  the  public 
prosecutor's  office  within  24  hours.   The  public  prosecutor 
examines  the  report  and  can  either  order  the  release  of  the 
detainee  or  issue  an  arrest  warrant  valid  for  5  days.   The 
public  prosecutor  then  must  state  the  charges  before  a 
magistrate  in  the  presence  of  the  detainee.   The  magistrate 
either  releases  the  detainee  or  issues  orders  confirming  the 
detention,  initially  for  15  days  and  subsequently  for  30-day 
periods  as  necessary  to  prepare  the  case  for  trial.   Bail  is 
set  only  in  cases  of  embezzlement  or  similar  crimes  involving 
financial  wrongdoing. 

Since  the  coup,  the  prescribed  procedures  for  arrest  and 
imprisonment  have  been  followed.   Previously,  the  elapsed  time 
between  an  arrest  and  the  notification  of  the  public  prosecutor 
often  extended  to  several  days,  and  detainees  did  not  always 
appear  before  a  magistrate  within  the  allotted  5  days  after 
arrest.   Relatives  or  consular  representatives  are  almost 
always  made  aware  of  arrests  or  detentions,  generally  at  the 


32 


BURUNDI 

time  of  incarceration,  and  detainees  usually  are  permitted  to 
go  to  their  homes  prior  to  being  brought  to  the  place  of 
detention. 

The  Government  does  not  exile  its  nationals.   Citizens  of 
other  countries  suspected  of  criminal  activity  or  lacking 
proper  residency  documents  are  expelled.   Forced  or  compulsory 
labor  is  not  permitted  under  current  law,  but  most  citizens 
are  expected  to  perform  community  service  on  Saturday  mornings. 
This  last  measure  had  caused  serious  problems  during  the  Bagaza 
era  for  Seventh-Day  Adventists  who  are  forbidden  by  their  faith 
from  working  on  Saturday,  their  Sabbath.   The  Buyoya  Government 
has  agreed  to  let  the  Adventists  perform  this  service  on 
another  day. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  judiciary's  independence  is  limited  by  the  requirement  to 
adhere  to  the  guidance  and  recommendations  of  the  party,  the 
Government,  and  the  President.   Judges  are  appointed  by  and 
serve  at  the  pleasure  of  the  President.   Nevertheless,  there 
is  a  high  degree  of  autonomy  in  the  court's  daily 
administration  of  justice.   Though  court  decisions  cannot  be 
overturned  by  the  executive  branch,  the  President  has  the 
power  to  pardon  or  reduce  sentences. 

Burundi  has  separate  court  systems  to  deal  with  military, 
civil/criminal,  and  state  security  cases.   Military  tribunals 
have  jurisdiction  only  over  military  personnel.   The  State 
Security  Court  has  jurisdiction  over  both  civilian  and 
military  personnel,  and  its  proceedings  need  not  be  made 
public.   To  date,  this  Court  has  never  been  used.   Burundi  law 
provides  the  right  to  counsel,  and  indigents  are  provided 
defense  counsel  by  the  State.   Pretrial  proceedings  may 
involve  lengthy  investigations.   The  public  prosecutor's 
office  generally  dismisses  cases  where  the  evidence  in  support 
of  the  charges  is  weak,  and  only  proceeds  to  trial  when  it 
believes  guilt  has  been  established.   The  courts  are  still 
hampered  by  a  lack  of  trained  legal  personnel  and  by  heavy 
case  loads. 

During  the  past  7  years,  the  Government  has  taken  steps  to 
improve  the  judicial  system,  and  the  1984  party  congress 
recommended  additional  judicial  reforms.   New  courts  have  been 
created,  the  number  of  magistrates  has  tripled,  and  training 
seminars  and  conferences  have  been  held. 

Following  the  coup  d'etat,  all  political  prisoners  or 
political  detainees  in  Burundi  were  released.   Since  then  two 
former  Ministers  in  the  Bagaza  Government  have  been  arrested 
on  criminal  charges  of  corruption.   This  contrasts  sharply 
with  the  situation  during  the  months  immediately  prior  to  the 
coup,  as  Bagaza's  security  service  arrested  and  detained  ever 
larger  numbers  of  suspected  dissidents,  including  Burundi's 
former  ambassador  to  the  United  Nations  in  Geneva.   Amnesty 
International,  in  its  1987  Report,  estimated  that  there  may 
have  been  about  100  political  prisoners  held  at  any  one  cime 
in  1986.   These  included  several  former  ministers  from 
President  Micombero's  regime,  who  were  being  held  for 
criticizing  the  Government's  religious  policy. 


33 


BURUNDI 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  inviolability  of  private  correspondence  and  of  the  home 
are  ensured  in  the  Constitution  and  respected  in  practice.   A 
judicial  warrant  is  required  for  a  law  enforcement  official  to 
enter  and  search  a  private  residence. 

Membership  in  the  major  political  party  and  its  affiliated 
organizations  is  open  to  all,  but  is  not  required.   The  State 
Security  Office  monitors  political  dissent  through  the  state 
security  police  and  by  employing  informers  who  report  on 
discontent  and  dissent  as  well  as  on  criminal  activity. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Government  controls  all  domestic  print  and  broadcast 
media.   The  French-language  daily  and  Kirundi-language  weekly 
are  published  by  the  Ministry  of  Information,  which  also 
operates  the  domestic  radio  and  television  stations.   The 
media  have  been  required  to  support  the  fundamental  policies 
of  the  party  and  the  Government.   Some  criticism  of  the 
Government  is  permitted  in  the  printed  press,  but  journalists 
are  state  employees  and  are  subject  to  disciplinary  action  if 
their  criticism  goes  beyond  what  is  considered  tolerable.   The 
Government  rarely  interferes  with  the  distribution  of  foreign 
news  publications  and  never  interferes  with  radio  reception 
from  foreign  sources. 

In  the  first  months  following  the  coup,  there  has  been  an 
unprecedented  outpouring  of  public  debate  and  questioning  on 
formerly  taboo  subjects  such  as  ethnic  relations  and  official 
corruption.   Academic  freedom  has  been  limited  in  the  past  in 
that  primary  and  secondary  school  teachers  were  expected  to 
support  government  policies.   It  is  not  yet  known  whether  this 
will  continue.   At  the  university,  professors  come  from  many 
different  countries,  both  east  and  west,  and  are  permitted  to 
lecture  freely  in  their  subject  areas,  conduct  research,  and 
draw  independent  conclusions.   Public  censorship  occurs  only 
in  the  case  of  sexually  explicit  foreign  film  material  or 
publications . 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

In  the  past,  the  express  authorization  of  the  Government  was 
required  for  all  political  meetings.   This  requirement 
effectively  guaranteed  government  control  of  all  public  forums 
and  limited  association  for  political  purposes  to  participation 
in  the  party  or  its  affiliated  youth,  labor,  or  women's 
movements.   This  restriction  has  not  been  enforced  since  the 
coup,  but  it  is  not  yet  known  whether  it  will  be  withdrawn 
officially. 

The  party  controls  the  National  Trade  Union  Confederation 
(UTB) ,  and  has  institutionalized  this  single  trade  union 
structure  by  means  of  legislation.   The  principal  role  of  the 
UTB,  to  which  virtually  the  entire  salaried  work  force 
belongs,  is  to  serve  as  an  intermediary  between  workers  and 
employers  in  labor  matters.   The  UTB  arbitrates  individual  and 
collective  labor  disputes  and  often  forces  employers  to  revise 
their  practices.   Unauthorized  advocacy  of  a  strike  or  lockout 
is  a  criminal  offense.   Therefore,  though  they  are  technically 
permissible,  there  have  been  no  strikes  in  recent  years.   The 


34 


BURUNDI 

UTB  participates  in  the  International  Labor  Organization  and 
is  a  member  of  the  Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity. 
In  1986  the  UTB  held  an  extraordinary  meeting  to  adopt  its 
statutes,  and  the  proceedings  were  relatively  democratic. 

The  Government  permits  nonpolitical  private  associations,  but 
requires  that  they  be  registered  and  accorded  legal  recognition 
before  they  may  function. 

c.   Freedom  of  Religion 

Ex-President  Bagaza  saw  organized  religion  as  a  threat  to  his 
power  and  sought  to  diminish  the  role  of  the  church  in  the 
everyday  life  of  the  people.   To  accomplish  this,  he  placed  a 
series  of  ever  more  repressive  restrictions  on  where  and  when 
people  could  worship.   Further,  there  was  an  official,  though 
undeclared,  policy  of  harassment  against  organized  religion, 
particularly  the  Catholic  Church.   This  harassment  took  the 
form  of  imprisoning  a  number  of  priests,  nuns,  and  lay 
officials,  expelling  or  denying  visa  renewals  for  missionaries, 
closing  down  churches,  abolishing  the  office  of  catechist, 
expropriating  church  schools  and  property,  and  engaging  in  a 
vicious  media  campaign  which  accused  the  church  of  everything 
from  sowing  ethnic  discord  to  having  Nazi  sympathies.   This 
program  was  extremely  unpopular  with  the  Burundi  people,  and 
President  Buyoya  and  his  Military  Committee  have  acted  quickly 
to  remove  many  of  the  most  serious  restrictions.   Specifically, 
Buyoya  has  freed  all  religious  prisoners  (along  with  the 
political  prisoners),  reopened  the  closed  churches,  authorized 
weekday  masses,  reinstituted  the  catechists,  and  stated  that 
Catholic  seminaries  and  the  "Yaga-Mukama"  literacy/catechism 
classes  may  be  reestablished.   Further,  the  church  will  be 
permitted  to  make  radio  broadcasts  and  publish  newspapers  and 
books.   Several  other  issues,  such  as  the  disposition  of 
confiscated  property  and  the  return  of  former  missionaries, 
are  currently  the  subject  of  discussions  between  church 
leaders  and  the  Government. 

Although  these  reforms  will  restore  the  church  to  a  key  role 
in  the  development  of  the  country,  religious  expression  in 
Burundi  continues  to  be  carefully  restricted  by  civil  laws  and 
regulations.   The  Burundi  Government  believes  religious 
organizations  must  be  subject  to  the  same  sorts  of  rules  and 
restrictions  which  apply  to  secular  organizations.   All 
religious  associations  must  receive  approval  from  the 
Government  to  operate  in  Burundi  and  are  expected  not  to 
engage  in  political  activity  critical  of  the  regime  in  power. 
The  legal  representative  of  each  religious  sect  must  be  a 
Burundi  citizen. 

During  the  Bagaza  regime,  two  religions,  the  Seventh-Day 
Adventists  and  the  Jehovah's  Witnesses,  were  banned.   However, 
an  international  delegation  of  Seventh-Day  Adventists  has  been 
told  by  the  Minister  of  Interior  that  the  Adventists  will  be 
allowed  to  reorganize.   The  previous  problem  relating  to  the 
Adventists"  refusal  to  do  Saturday  work  has  been  resolved  by  a 
mutual  agreement  that  the  Adventists  will  perform  their 
community  service  on  some  other  day.   The  Jehovah's  Witnesses 
have  not  yet  requested  to  be  reinstated  as  a  recognized 
religion,  so  it  is  not  yet  known  whether  they  will  be  allowed 
to  reestablish  themselves  in  Burundi. 

There  are  no  barriers  to  the  maintenance  of  links  with 
coreligionists  in  other  countries.   Religious  beliefs  do  not 


35 


BURUNDI 

exclude  people  from  participation  in  the  party  or  from 
receiving  social  benefits. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 


Mo 


i-.wvement  is  generally  free  within  Burundi,  although  government 
policies  discourage  urban  migration.   Foreign  travel  and 
emigration  are  relatively  free.   Prospective  Burundi  travelers 
must  have  exit  visas  as  well  as  passports.   In  the  past,  some 
foreigners  applying  for  exit  visas  were  required  to  prove  they 
had  no  outstanding  debts.   During  1987  until  the  coup  d'etat, 
many  missionaries  and  other  long-time  foreign  residents  were 
denied  the  renewal  of  their  residence  permits.   The  Buyoya 
regime  has  reversed  this  trend  and  renewed  the  permits  of 
several  residents  and  missionaries  previously  threatened  with 
expulsion. 

The  Government  has  cooperated  closely  with  the  office  of  the 
United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  (UNHCR) . 
Burundi  claims  to  shelter  262,000  refugees,  but  most  are 
long-time  residents  who  now  are  well  assimilated.   The  UNHCR 
estimates  that  there  are  approximately  70,000  refugees, 
primarily  Tutsis  of  Rwandan  origin  who  fled  to  Burundi  in  the 
1960*s.   Many  are  well  integrated  in  Burundi,  although  they 
may  acquire  citizenship  only  through  marriage  to  a  Burundi 
citizen.   During  1987  increasing  numbers  of  Rwandan  and  other 
refugees  lost  their  jobs  when  they  were  replaced  by  Burundi 
citizens  of  matching  qualifications,  despite  the  provision  in 
Burundi  law  granting  refugees  the  right  to  work.   In  July 
1987,  the  Ministry  of  Interior  declared  that  any  refugee 
holding  a  job  would  be  allowed  to  keep  it,  and  any  unemployed 
refugee  could  fill  jobs  for  which  there  were  no  qualified 
Burundi.   The  Government  periodically  repatriates  Rwandan 
nationals  who  lack  residence  permits  or  who  have  been  arrested 
on  suspicion  of  criminal  activities.   Refugees  who  fled  from 
Burundi  in  the  1970's  and  earlier  continue  to  return  and  have 
full  rights  as  citizens.   Some  5,000  Burundi  who  were 
repatriated  forcibly  from  Tanzania  in  April  1987  were  welcomed 
and  given  materials  to  reestablish  themselves  in  less 
populated  areas. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Burundi  citizens  do  not  have  the  right  to  change  their 
government.   Political  participation  can  take  place  only 
within  the  one-party  structure,  and  voters  can  express 
dissatisfaction  only  by  voting  against  incumbents.   The  party 
is  open  to  all  Burundi  supporting  its  principles  and  claims  a 
membership  of  approximately  1.4  million,  over  three-quarters 
of  the  adult  population.   The  party  regularly  holds  local  and 
regional  meetings,  where  party  members  discuss  issues  and  make 
recommendations.   While  there  are  multiple  candidates  for 
party  positions,  balloting  is  not  secret. 

Since  September  1987,  the  31-member  Military  Committee  for 
National  Salvation  (MCNS)  is  the  supreme  body  of  the  nation, 
charged  with  directing  policies  and  government  decisions. 
Most  executive  decisions  are  taken  by  the  10-member  Executive 
Committee  of  the  MCNS.   The  President  has  indicated  that  the 
Military  Committee  will  rule  until  civilian  government 
institutions,  presumably  including  the  National  Assembly,  are 
reconstituted.   The  President  has  been  invested  by  the 


36 


BURUNDI 

Military  Committee  with  legislative  and  regulatory  authority, 
executing  this  authority  within  the  guidelines  decided  by  the 
committee . 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Buyoya  Government  has  cited  the  Bagaza  regime's  abuse  of 
human  rights  as  one  of  the  reasons  for  its  overthrow.   It  has 
pledged  to  protect  the  rights  of  all  Burundi  citizens  and  to 
work  with  humanitarian  organizations,  including  permitting 
regular  ICRC  prison  visits  in  the  future.   In  1986  the  Bagaza 
regime  authorized  the  ICRC  to  schedule  periodic  visits  to 
prisons,  and  visits  were  made.   The  scheduled  visit  for  August 
1987  was  postponed  without  explanation,  but  shortly  thereafter 
it  was  revealed  that  Burundi  prisons  were  holding  a  greatly 
increased  number  of  political  prisoners.   The  Bagaza  Government 
permitted  Amnesty  International  to  visit  Burundi  in  1987. 
Burundi  is  a  party  to  several  United  Nations  instruments  on 
human  rights. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  minority  Tutsi  have  for  centuries  dominated  the  majority 
Hutu.   Civil  strife  in  1972,  which  culminated  in  government 
sanctioned  massacres,  resulted  in  the  deaths  of  around  150,000 
Hutu  and  caused  another  200,000  to  flee  to  neighboring  Rwanda 
and  Tanzania.   During  the  Second  Republic  beginning  in  1976, 
the  level  of  ethnic  tension  markedly  declined,  and  Tutsi-Hutu 
tensions  are  not  believed  to  have  played  a  role  in  the 
downfall  of  the  Bagaza  regime.   Thousands  of  Hutu  refugees 
have  returned  to  Burundi  over  the  past  several  years.   While 
the  Government  is  far  from  representative  of  the  Burundi 
population  as  a  whole  (85  percent  Hutu,  14  percent  Tutsi,  and 
1  percent  other),  Buyoya  has  appointed  Hutus  to  all  levels  of 
government,  including  7  to  his  20-member  Cabinet,  and  6  out  of 
15  provincial  governors. 

Intermarriage  also  has  contributed  to  a  blurring  of  ethnic 
distinctions.   The  low  level  of  economic  development  in  rural 
areas  affects  both  Tutsi  and  Hutu,  making  the  difference  in 
economic  status  between  the  two  groups  scarcely  discernible  in 
the  countryside.   However,  because  of  their  longstanding 
dominance  of  the  government  and  access  to  education,  the  Tutsi 
predominate  in  the  modern  economic  sector.   The  military 
remains  under  Tutsi  control,  and  Tutsi  dominance  is  expected 
to  continue  under  Buyoya ' s  rule.   Nevertheless,  there  is  no 
evidence  that  Hutus  are  denied  equal  protection  under  the  law. 

Women  in  society  hold  a  secondary  position,  although  their 
status  is  undergoing  considerable  change  from  traditional 
patterns.   The  suspended  Constitution  provided  for  legal 
equality.   The  current  legal  code  prohibits  polygamy  and  a 
dowry  requirement,  allows  women  some  control  over  family 
matters,  and  provides  for  land  inheritance  by  women.   Although 
fewer  women  than  men  obtain  a  formal  education,  once  a  degree 
is  attained  women  can  generally  find  suitable  employment.   The 
Government  has  not  discriminated  against  women  in  hiring. 
Women  are  represented  at  all  levels  in  the  political  life  of 
the  country,  including  two  in  the  Buyoya  Cabinet.   Their  main 
vehicle  of  political  expression  is  the  Burundi  Women's  Union 
which  is  affiliated  with  the  party.   The  party  remains 
dominated  by  males. 


37 


BURUNDI 


CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 


More  than  90  percent  of  the  population  of  Burundi  are 
subsistence  farmers.   Some  increased  monetization  of  the 
economy  is  occurring  with  the  increase  in  coffee  and  tea 
production.   Worker  rights  are  guaranteed  by  the  Burundi  labor 
code  and  by  the  National  Collective  Interprofessional  Labor 
Convention,  but  these  rights  have  relevance  primarily  for 
workers  in  the  small  wage  sector  of  the  economy.   Working 
hours  vary  between  40  and  45  hours  per  week;  Saturday 
afternoons,  Sundays,  and  holidays  are  times  of  rest.   Children 
under  the  age  of  12  may  not  be  employed  in  any  capacity,  nor 
may  children  under  the  age  of  16  be  engaged  in  dangerous  or 
strenuous  work.   But,  as  a  practical  matter,  many  children  are 
obliged  by  custom  and  circumstance  to  help  their  families  in 
subsistence  agriculture.   In  the  modern  economic  sector, 
minimum  health  and  safety  standards  are  monitored  by  the 
Ministry  of  Labor,  but  enforcement  of  these  standards  is 
limited,  in  part  due  to  the  lack  of  inspectors. 

Burundi  has  a  high  population  growth  rate.   The  number  of 
available  workers  for  salaried  jobs  far  exceeds  demand.   As  a 
result,  labor  costs  are  low.   The  established  minimum  wage  of 
approximately  $1.12  per  day  is  barely  adequate  to  provide  a 
decent  living  for  workers  and  families.   Wages  are  higher  in 
the  few  private  sector  businesses. 


CAMEROON 


Political  power  in  Cameroon  is  heavily  concentrated  in  the 
presidency.   The  President  appoints  all  government  and  party 
officials  and  makes  all  major  decisions,  although  key 
parliamentarians  in  the  National  Assembly  and  others  have  some 
behind-the-scenes  influence.   Cameroon  had  an  active  multiparty 
system  when  it  became  independent,  but  under  former  President 
Ahidjo,  all  parties  were  gradually  consolidated  into  the 
Cameroon  National  Union,  renamed  in  1985  under  President  Paul 
Biya  the  Cameroon  People's  Democratic  Movement  (CPDM) .   Biya 
began  a  policy  of  democratizing  the  party  structure  in  1987  at 
the  grass  roots  in  preparation  for  multiple  candidate  municipal 
elections  in  1987  and  multiple  candidate  legislative  elections 
in  1988. 

Internal  security  responsibilities  are  shared  by  the  National 
Police  (Surete  National),  the  National  Intelligence  Service 
(Centre  National  Pour  les  Etudes  et  Recherche,  CENER) ,  the 
Ministry  of  Territorial  Administration,  Military  Intelligence, 
and,  to  a  lesser  extent,  the  Presidential  Security  Service. 
The  Ministry  of  Territorial  Administration  is  in  charge  of 
prisons,  and  the  National  Police  has  the  dominant  role  in 
enforcing  internal  security  laws.   The  CENER  and  the  military 
are  still  involved  in  both  those  functions,  but  to  a  lesser 
degree. 

Cameroon's  economy  remains  strong,  with  a  per  capita  gross 
domestic  product  ($1,130  in  1986)  that  places  Cameroon  among 
the  middle-income  developing  countries.   Nonetheless,  it 
remains  plagued  by  many  problems  of  underdevelopment  and  its 
economy  declined  in  1987  as  revenues  from  oil  and  other  raw 
material  exports  fell.   Cameroon's  diversified  agricultural 
base  and  the  Government's  conservative  economic  policies 
should  help  the  country  weather  declining  terms  of  trade  and 
other  external  difficulties. 

During  the  22  years  of  President  Ahidjo's  rule,  Cameroon's 
diversity  and  the  armed  violence  in  some  parts  of  the  country 
were  used  to  justify  authoritarian  control  and  harsh 
restrictions  on  civil  liberties.   In  contrast,  under  President 
Biya  the  human  rights  environment  has  improved,  but  this 
progress  was  marred  by  two  incidents  in  1987  in  which 
officials  of  the  Cameroon  Tribune,  the  Government's 
francophone  daily,  were  detained.   In  both  instances,  the 
detainees  were  reportedly  released  by  order  of  President 
Biya.   By  most  estimates,  10  to  20  political  detainees, 
holdovers  from  the  arrests  that  followed  the  attempted  1984 
coup,  remain  in  custody. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  political  killing. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  disappearance. 


39 


CAMEROON 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Torture  is  proscribed  by  the  criminal  code,  which  renders 
evidence  obtained  by  torture  inadmissible.   In  addition,  the 
penal  code  prohibits  public  servants  from  using  force  against 
any  person.   However,  very  poor  prison  conditions,  including 
inadequate  food  and  sanitation,  and  limited  medical  facilities 
remain  problems.   Prisoners  have  reportedly  suffered  from 
severe  malnutrition  unless  provided  food  by  friends  or 
families.   Persons  under  "administrative  detention"  (i.e., 
political  detainees)  are  kept  in  special  camps  or  prisons. 
Access  to  the  administrative  detention  centers  by  families  and 
friends  is  severely  restricted. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Under  Cameroonian  law,  a  person  arrested  on  suspicion  of 
committing  an  offense  may  not  be  held  more  than  48  hours 
without  a  court  order.   This  provision  is  generally  observed. 
However,  after  an  investigating  magistrate  has  determined  that 
the  case  should  be  brought  to  trial  and  has  issued  a  warrant 
to  that  effect,  there  is  no  limitation  on  how  long  the  detainee 
may  be  held  in  "preventive  detention"  pending  trial.   Accused 
persons  awaiting  trial  constitute  the  majority  of  persons  in 
the  prisons  at  Yaounde  and  Douala.   Release  on  bail  is 
infrequent.   The  CENER  does  not  bring  its  detainees  before 
magistrates  for  investigation,  as  is  the  norm  under  the  penal 
code. 

Persons  may  be  held  in  administrative  detention  under 
legislation  pertaining  to  subversion.   The  penal  code  defines 
detention  as  the  "loss  of  liberty  for  a  political  felony  or 
misdemeanor."   Such  detention  by  regional  authorities  is 
initially  for  1  month,  renewable  twice,  and  may  be  extended  up 
to  an  additional  6  months  by  the  Minister  of  Territorial 
Administration.   Generally,  those  arrested  and  placed  in 
administrative  detention  do  not  disappear--their  families  are 
told  where  they  are,  and  they  are  eventually  released, 
although  the  detention  may  be  lengthy.   Political  detainees, 
10  to  20  of  whom  are  currently  estimated  to  be  in  custody,  are 
usually  held  under  this  type  of  detention.   Under  state  of 
emergency  provisions,  authorities  may  also  order  detention  for 
up  to  1  week  for  persons  judged  "dangerous  to  public  security." 
The  Minister  of  Territorial  Administration  may  also  order 
detention  of  such  persons  for  up  to  2  months;  the  order  is 
renewable  without  limitation.   The  state  of  emergency 
provisions  were  not  used  in  1987. 

Local  police  occasionally  harass  citizens  and  threaten  to 
detain  them  unless  bribes  are  paid.   These  actions  are  not 
condoned  by  high  government  officials  and  have  been  sharply 
criticized  by  the  President.   In  October  1987,  the  Secretary 
of  State  for  Internal  Security  publicly  reminded  police  that 
they  must  not  become  criminals  in  enforcing  the  law  and  they 
must  enforce  it  fairly. 

There  are  no  reports  of  forced  labor  being  practiced  in 
Cameroon. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Trial 

Trial  by  a  presiding  magistrate  is  guaranteed  by  law,  and  this 
practice  is  followed  with  the  exception  of  persons  held  under 
administrative  detention.   Public  trials  are  also  guaranteed 


40 


CAMEROON 

by  law,  although  exceptions  are  allowed  for  the  public  good  or 
national  security  reasons.   Trials  which  involve  prominent 
persons  or  which  are  controversial  are  sometimes  held  in 
private.   Magistrates  in  Cameroon  are  a  corps  of  career  civil 
servants  responsible  to  the  Minister  of  Justice  and  are 
required  to  have  law  degrees.   Their  decisions  are  generally 
not  subject  to  government  interference,  and  they  are  usually 
considered  to  conduct  fair  trials.   There  was  an  instance  in 
1987,  however,  in  which  a  magistrate  was  apparently  the  object 
of  a  retaliatory  transfer  after  rendering  a  civil  judgment 
against  the  Government.   Defendants  in  felony  cases  are 
provided  attorneys  if  they  cannot  afford  one. 

Crimes  involving  subversion  or  illegal  use  of  weapons,  as  well 
as  crimes  involving  the  military,  are  tried  by  military 
tribunal.   Each  tribunal  has  three  members,  and  its  presiding 
officer  must  be  a  magistrate  and  often  is  a  military  officer. 
As  in  civil  cases,  defendants  are  entitled  to  either  public  or 
private  counsel. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Both  invasions  of  the  home  and  tampering  with  correspondence 
are  violations  of  Cameroonian  law.  However,  there  are  reports 
that  police  enter  homes  without  warrants  during  periodic 
searches  for  criminals  in  low-income  neighborhoods.   Police 
officials  also  sometimes  enter  homes  and  demand  to  see 
receipts  for  household  property  as  a  customs  law  enforcement 
measure.   Surveillance  of  suspected  political  dissidents, 
including  monitoring  of  mail  and  of  telephone  conversations, 
is  also  common. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Constitution  of  1972  provides  for  the  freedom  of  expression 
and  press,  but  under  Cameroonian  law  and  practice  these 
freedoms  are  restricted.   No  written  ground  rules  exist,  and 
the  private  press  must  submit  each  issue  for  censorship  to  see 
what  is  deemed  acceptable  and  what  is  not.   There  is  no 
evidence  that  anyone  is  punished  for  privately  criticizing  the 
Government,  and  freedom  of  public  discussion  exists  to  a  degree 
that  was  unknown  during  the  Ahidjo  era.   The  private  press 
continues  to  flourish,  with  close  to  20  newspapers  publishing 
on  a  regular  schedule. 

Although  no  newspapers  were  closed  during  1987,   several 
incidents  impinged  upon  the  freedom  of  the  Cameroonian  press. 
In  December  1986,  the  Minister  of  Justice  criticized  the  press 
for  considering  itself  a  fourth  branch  of  government, 
emphasized  the  need  for  state  controls  over  the  press,  and 
warned  of  severe  sanctions  in  the  event  of  press  misbehavior. 
In  January  1987,  two  senior  officials  of  the  Cameroon  Tribune, 
the  government  francophone  journal,  were  arrested  after  the 
unauthorized  publication  of  a  presidential  decree;  the 
journalists  were  released  over  1  month  later  but  were 
subsequently  fired.   In  March,  three  officials  of  the  Cameroon 
Tribune  were  detained  and  interrogated  by  the  CENER,  Cameroon's 
security  service,  following  the  publication  of  an  article 
about  a  conference  on  political  literature  held  at  the 
National  University  of  Cameroon  in  Yaounde.   In  addition  to 
the  journalists,  two  academic  participants  were  arrested  and 
interrogated  at  the  same  time.   As  was  the  case  in  the  earlier 


41 


CAMEROON 

incident.  President  Biya  ordered  the  five  detainees  released 
when  he  learned  of  the  arrests  upon  his  return  to  Cameroon 
from  a  trip  abroad. 

There  has  been  increased  editorial  comment  in  the 
government-controlled  press  and  radio,  although  the  official 
journalists,  bound  by  rules  governing  the  behavior  of  civil 
servants,  enjoy  much  less  latitude  than  do  their  private 
counterparts.   Most  official  journalists  are  civil  servants 
and  can  be  transferred  to  less  desirable  jobs  if  they  do  not 
censor  their  own  reporting.   Cameroonian  television  has  been 
on  the  air  since  December  1985,  and  although  the  television 
journalists  seem  to  have  more  leeway  to  tackle  sensitive 
social  issues  and  governmental  corruption,  they,  like  their 
print  and  radio  counterparts,  practice  self-censorship  on 
controversial  political  issues. 

In  past  years,  issues  of  international  publications  have  been 
seized  because  they  contained  articles  about  Cameroon  which 
the  Government  considered  inflammatory  or  defamatory. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  freedoms  of  assembly  and  association,  while  provided  for 
in  the  Constitution,  are  restricted  in  practice  and  in  law. 
The  Cameroonian  penal  code  prohibits  public  meetings, 
demonstrations,  or  processions  without  prior  government 
approval,  and  organizations  must  register  with  the  Government. 

The  sole  labor  union,  the  Organization  of  Cameroonian  Workers 
Union  (OCWU) ,  operates  within  the  framework  of  the  official 
political  party,  and  the  top  union  leadership  is  chosen  by  the 
Government.   Pursuant  to  its  policy  of  democratization,  the 
OCWU  permitted  multiple  candidates  in  the  worker  delegate 
elections  in  November,  but  OCWU  retained  the  right  to  approve 
candidacies  in  advance.   The  union  does  not  play  a  major  role 
in  Cameroonian  politics,  although  it  has  a  membership  of 
approximately  450,000  workers  in  a  working  population  of  more 
than  3  million.   It  pursues  individual  worker  grievances  and 
seeks  improvements  in  government  programs  for  worker  safety 
and  training. 

The  OCWU  participates  in  government-regulated  labor 
negotiations,  but  strikes  are  illegal.   Political  activity  by 
the  trade  union,  excepting  action  designed  to  protect  economic 
and  other  interests,  is  prohibited.   The  union  maintains 
contact  with  foreign  trade  union  organizations,  notably  the 
African-American  Labor  Center,  but  such  contact  reguires 
government  authorization.   Cameroon  is  a  member  of  the 
International  Labor  Organization  (ILO),  and  rank  and  file 
union  members  comprise  the  labor  component  of  the  Cameroonian 
delegation  to  its  meetings.   The  union  is  also  a  member  of  the 
Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Freedom  of  religion  is  provided  for  in  the  Constitution  and  is 
generally  respected.   In  order  for  a  religious  group  to  exist 
and  function  legally,  it  must  be  approved  and  registered  with 
the  Ministry  of  Territorial  Administration.   On  at  least  one 
occasion,  the  Ministry  rejected  an  application  from  a  small 
religious  group  on  the  ground  that  it  was  too  nearly  identical 
to  an  existing  group.   Roughly  20  percent  of  Cameroonians  are 
Muslim,  30  percent  Christian,  and  the  rest  animist.   Officials 
of  the  Government  and  party  are  drawn  from  members  of  all 


42 


CAMEROON 

denominations.   Missionaries  played  a  major  role  in  the 
development  of  Cameroon  and  continue  to  be  active. 

However,  the  Jehovah's  Witnesses,  who  do  not  acknowledge  the 
supremacy  of  the  state,  were  banned  in  1970  and  periodically 
have  been  targets  of  harassment  since  then,  including 
imprisonment.   In  the  most  recent  incident,  a  Jehovah's 
Witness,  Augustine  Kong,  was  reportedly  sentenced  to  2  years' 
imprisonment  in  June  in  an  illegal  border  crossing  case. 
Amnesty  International,  in  its  1987  report  (covering  1986) 
mentioned  several  specific  cases  involving  the  arrest  of 
Jehovah's  Witnesses,  e.g.,  Andre  Beygue  Yakana,  who  was 
arrested  in  1984  for  attending  an  unofficial  religious  service 
in  his  home.   Amnesty  International  adopted  Yakana  as  a 
prisoner  of  conscience. 

Observance  of  traditional  religions  is  not  discouraged  by  the 
Government,  although  acts  of  witchcraft,  magic,  or  divination 
"liable  to  disrupt  public  order  or  tranquility,  or  to  harm 
persons  or  property"  are  outlawed  with  penalties  of  up  to  10 
years'  imprisonment. 

Independent  Muslim  and  Christian  publications  exist  in 
Cameroon,  and  there  is  no  evidence  that  they  are  censored  more 
heavily  than  the  secular  press.   The  exception,  again,  is  the 
Jehovah's  Witnesses,  who  are  not  allowed  to  publish  or 
distribute  their  religious  materials. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Freedom  of  movement  within  the  country  is  not  restricted  by 
law.   In  practice,  however,  police  frequently  stop  travelers 
to  check  identification  documents  as  a  security  and  immigration 
control  measure.   Exit  visas  are  required  to  leave  the  country 
and  sometimes  are  obtainable  only  after  long  bureaucratic 
delays.   In  some  cases,  these  delays  may  represent  attempts  by 
the  Government  to  discourage  or  even  prevent  departure.   The 
Government  has  also  been  known  to  refuse  issuance  of  a 
passport,  or  to  confiscate  an  already  issued  passport,  in 
order  to  prevent  someone  from  traveling  abroad.   Cameroonians 
who  leave  the  country  must  deposit  sums  sufficient  to  buy  a 
return  air  ticket  for  repatriation  should  they  become  stranded 
abroad.   There  are  no  restrictions  on  voluntary  repatriation. 
Women  must  obtain  the  permission  of  their  husbands  or  fathers 
to  leave  the  country. 

Over  the  years,  Cameroon  has  served  as  a  safehaven  for 
thousands  of  displaced  persons  and  refugees.   The  Government 
currently  acknowledges  the  presence  of  approximately  50,000 
Chadians  in  Cameroon,  some  7,500  of  whom  have  been  recognized 
by  the  United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  (UNHCR) 
as  political  refugees  and  are  living  at  the  UNHCR  camp  at  Poli. 
The  remaining  Chadians  have  integrated  into  the  Cameroonian 
economy  and  do  not  receive  government  or  international 
assistance.   Cameroon  is  also  host  to  refugees  from  South 
Africa,  Zaire,  Angola,  and  other  African  nations,  and  there 
are  approximately  100  Namibians  in  Cameroon  as  students. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Cameroon  continues  to  be  a  one-party  state  with  political 
power  and  administrative  responsibility  concentrated  in  the 
presidency.   While  the  Constitution  implies  the  legality  of 


43 


CAMEROON 

other  political  parties,  in  fact,  only  one  party,  the  CPDM,  is 
currently  permitted,  and  therefore  citizens  cannot  change  the 
party  in  power  through  the  electoral  process.   On  June  26, 
1986,  the  Cameroon  Supreme  Court  ruled  against  the  latest 
attempt  by  Dr.  Joseph  Sende  to  gain  legal  recognition  for  the 
Union  des  Populations  du  Cameroun  (UPC),  the  second  time  under 
the  Biya  Government  that  the  Supreme  Court  rejected  Sende * s 
plea.   As  before,  the  Court  denied  Sende  on  the  ground  that  he 
is  an  active  member  of  the  CPDM.   No  one  attempted  to  gain 
legal  recognition  of  a  second  political  party  in  1987. 
Although  the  election  law  theoretically  permits  multiple 
candidates  for  the  presidency.  President  Biya  ran  unopposed  in 
the  January  1984  elections  and  received  99.98  percent  of  the 
votes.   The  President  appoints  all  governors,  prefects,  and 
cabinet  ministers. 

Cameroon's  political  system  is  a  product  of  the  country's 
ethnic  and  linguistic  diversity,  which  includes  some  230 
languages  and  3  separate  European  traditions  (French,  British, 
and  German).   Both  French  and  English  are  official  languages, 
although  some  Anglophones  allege  political  discrimination  by 
the  majority  Francophones.   A  careful  balancing  act,  within 
the  one  party,  is  required  to  maintain  political  cohesion. 
Membership  in  the  CPDM  is  open  to  all  religious  and  ethnic 
groups.   While  the  party  remains  essentially  a  centrally 
controlled  organization,  it  is  gradually  broadening  itself 
pursuant  to  the  program  adopted  by  the  1985  CPDM  Congress. 
Local  party  meetings  held  throughout  the  country  in  1986  were 
aimed  at  encouraging  the  use  of  the  party  for  two-way 
communication  between  the  people  and  the  Government.   The 
first  open  municipal  elections  with  multiple  candidacies  were 
held  on  October  25,  1987,  and  a  1987  law  provides  for  multiple 
candidacies  for  the  1988  National  Assembly  elections  as  well. 

Externally  based  dissident  groups,  including  the  Union  des 
Populations  du  Cameroun  (Francophone)  and  the  Cameroon 
Democratic  Party  (Anglophone),  periodically  send  letters  or 
pamphlets  into  the  country.   The  Government  attempts  to  seize 
these  documents  when  they  arrive.   A  number  of  former  UPC 
members  are  now  active  in  the  CPDM. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

Under  President  Biya,  the  Government  has  given  increased 
attention  to  human  rights  issues,  both  internally  as  a  part  of 
President  Biya's  program  of  "democratization"  and  in  public 
statements  in  forums  such  as  the  United  Nations. 

The  Government  of  Cameroon  does  not  publicly  acknowledge  or 
respond  to  investigations  of  alleged  violations  of  human 
rights  by  nongovernmental  organizations  (e.g..  Amnesty 
International)  . 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Access  to  the  Government's  social  programs  is  open  to  all 
Cameroonian  citizens  on  a  nondiscriminatory  basis.   Girls  made 
up  45.5  percent  of  elementary  students  in  1984-85,  the  last 
school  year  for  which  statistics  are  available.   Women  are 
underprivileged,  both  in  access  to  higher  education  and  in 
terms  of  professional  opportunities.   Girls  from  the  southern 
part  of  the  country,  although  disadvantaged  at  the  secondary 


44 


CAMEROON 

education  level  when  compared  with  boys  from  the  same  areas; 
have  a  considerable  educational  lead  over  girls  and  boys  from 
the  eastern  and  northern  provinces.   One  of  the  goals  of  the 
sixth  5-year  plan  for  economic,  social,  and  cultural 
development  is  to  improve  educational  opportunities  for  women. 

Women  are  promised  equal  rights  under  the  Constitution  and  are 
politically  active  in  the  party  and  the  sole  labor  union.   The 
women's  wing  of  the  party  has  developed  programs  aimed  at 
encouraging  the  economic  and  social  productivity  of 
Cameroonian  women.   Women  are  represented  in  the  modern 
sector,  although  not  proportionately  in  the  upper  levels  of 
administration  and  in  the  professions.   There  are  some  women 
in  the  armed  forces.   There  are  currently  five  women  in 
President  Biya's  Government  but  no  women  governors  or  prefects, 
As  a  result  of  the  1983  legislative  elections,  the  percentage 
of  women  in  the  National  Assembly  increased  from  10  to  14. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

The  Cameroonian  National  Labor  Code  sets  the  minimum  working 
age  at  14,  the  minimum  annual  paid  vacation  at  18  days,  and 
the  legal  workweek  at  40  hours  for  nonagricultural  employees 
and  up  to  48  hours  per  week  for  agricultural  workers.   In 
order  to  make  room  for  younger  workers,  civil  servants  are 
being  encouraged  to  retire  upon  reaching  the  minimum 
retirement  age  of  55.   Minimum  monthly  wages  are  set  by  the 
Government  for  all  public  and  private  sector  jobs.   Wage  rates 
are  based  on  geographic  zones,  types  of  industry,  and 
qualifications  of  workers  and  length  of  service.   The  lowest 
wages  are  insufficient  to  support  a  family  but,  in  most  cases, 
they  are  supplemented  by  a  second  job  or  another  family 
member's  earnings.   Workers  with  middle-range  wages  are  also 
likely  to  need  second  incomes  to  support  a  family,  especially 
in  Yaounde  and  Douala.   Because  of  Cameroon's  relatively 
healthy  economy,  workers  have  opportunities  to  supplement 
their  wages  with  second  jobs.   Occupational  health  and  safety 
is  mandated  by  law,  based  on  ILO  standards.   In  theory,  these 
standards  are  enforced  by  inspectors  of  the  Ministry  of  Labor, 
but  they  lack  the  means  for  effective  enforcement. 


45 


CAPE  VERDE 


Cape  Verde  is  ruled  by  the  African  Party  for  the  Independence 
of  Cape  Verde  (PAICV),  the  country's  sole  political  party, 
under  the  leadership  of  President  Aristides  Pereira.   Most 
government  ministers  are  also  senior  members  of  the  party,  and 
many  of  them  were  leaders  of  the  revolutionary  movement  to 
free  Cape  Verde  from  Portuguese  rule.   The  PAICV  is  officially 
open  to  anyone  wishing  to  join,  and  membership,  about  4  percent 
of  the  voting  population,  has  doubled  in  the  11  years  since 
independence.   The  Constitution  adopted  in  1980  declares  the 
party  "the   supreme  expression  of  the  interests  of  the  popular 
masses."   Members  of  the  Popular  National  Assembly,  which  is 
formally  the  supreme  organ  of  the  State,  are  elected  from  a 
slate  of  candidates  which  is  proposed  to  the  electorate  by  the 
party.   The  Assembly  selects  the  President,  who,  as  Head  of 
State,  proposes  the  Prime  Minister  to  the  Assembly.   While  the 
Assembly  does  not  reverse  government/party  decisions,  deputies 
debate  issues  openly,  and  critical  views  are  often  reported  in 
the  media. 

Security  responsibilities,  which  had  been  divided  between  the 
military,  the  security,  and  police  forces,  were  combined  into 
a  single  government  department  in  February  1986.   The 
reorganized  Ministry  of  Defense  and  Security  operates  under 
guidelines  and  leadership  approved  by  the  party. 

Cape  Verde  has  few  natural  resources,  and  for  years  Cape 
Verdeans  have  emigrated  to  improve  their  economic  condition. 
(Over  350,000  live  abroad.)   Cape  Verde's  development  efforts 
for  its  population  of  320,000  have  been  further  hindered  by  a 
19-year  drought  which  has  severely  affected  employment 
possibilities  for  the  rural  population  and  seriously  diminished 
water  supplies.   Nonetheless,  there  has  been  no   starvation 
since  independence,  which  can  be  attributed  to  generous 
foreign  assistance,  remittances  from  Cape  Verdean  emigrants, 
and  efficient  management  by  the  Government.   Heavy  summer 
rains  in  1987  may  signal  the  end  of  the  drought  and  hold  the 
promise  of  improvements  in  the  agricultural  sector.   The 
Government  is  the  largest  nonagr icultural  employer.   It 
controls  banking,  the  import  of  most  basic  commodities, 
airlines,  the  press,  and  schools.   Private  property  rights  are 
respected.   There  is  a  substantial  and  growing  private  sector 
which  includes  shops,  hotels,  farms,  fishing,  small  industries 
(such  as  tuna  canning),  and  the  professions. 

Human  rights  were  generally  respected  in  Cape  Verde  during 
1987.   However,  there  were  unsubstantiated  allegations  of 
certain  human  rights  abuses,  including  the  use  of  temporary 
detention  to  suppress  antigovernment  views  in  a  series  of 
articles  in  a  Catholic  monthly  newspaper.   The  beating  death 
of  a  young  man  while  in  police  detention  was  reported  in 
November.   Responsible  police  officials  were  relieved  of  their 
duties  and  detained  to  be  tried. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reported  instances  of  politically  motivated 
deaths . 


46 

CAPE  VERDE 

b.   Disappearance 

There  were  no  reported  instances  of  officially  inspired 
disappearances . 


c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

In  November  a  young  man  was  beaten  to  death  while  in  detention 
in  a  local  jail  on  Brava  Island.   The  government  press  made  a 
full  report  of  the  incident,  and  the  policeman  responsible, 
along  with  his  superior  officer,  was  put  under  detention  to  be 
tried  according  to  the  law.   There  was  no  other  evidence  of 
torture  or  other  cruel  and  unusual  punishment  of  prisoners  and 
detainees,  although  unsubstantiated  allegations  of 
"concentration-camp  conditions"  in  prisons  appeared  in  a  local 
monthly  newspaper.   Conditions  in  prisons  are  indeed  poor  and 
detention  facilities  antiquated,  except  in  Praia  where  a  new 
prison  facility  was  recently  completed.   Cape  Verde  is  the 
only  country  in  Africa  where  capital  punishment  has  been 
outlawed. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Some  reports  surfaced  during  1987  of  persons  being  detained 
and  tried  for  the  expression  of  views  critical  of  or  different 
from  those  of  the  Government.   In  all  known  cases,  such  persons 
were  charged  with  disturbing  the  peace  or  demonstrating  without 
permission.   Jail  sentences  in  these  instances  were  waived  or 
very  light. 

Cape  Verde  law  requires  that  an  accused  person,  unless  caught 
in  the  act  of  committing  a  crime,  be  brought  before  a  judge  to 
be  charged  within  48  hours  of  arrest.   In  exceptional  cases, 
with  the  concurrence  of  a  court  official,  the  formal  charge 
process  may  be  delayed,  but  it  still  must  take  place  within  5 
days  of  arrest.   For  crimes  against  state  security,  however, 
persons  may  be  detained  for  up  to  5  months  without  trial  upon 
a  judge's  ruling.   There  is  a  functioning  system  of  bail,  and 
everyone  is  entitled  to  representation  by  an  attorney  in  civil 
or  criminal  cases.   Those  unable  to  afford  legal  counsel  are 
represented  by  lawyers  named  by  the  state-run  Lawyers' 
Association. 

There  were  no  known  instances  of  forced  exile  for  political  or 
other  reasons.   Forced  labor  is  not  practiced. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

There  are  no  known  political  prisoners. 

The  judicial  system  is  composed  of  a  Supreme  Court,  whose 
members  are  appointed  by  the  Government,  regional  courts,  and 
local  popular  courts.   Trials  are  conducted  by  one  judge 
without  a  jury.   The  autonomous  Institute  for  Judiciary 
Support,  to  which  all  private  lawyers  belong,  provides  counsel 
for  defendants  in  cases  of  need.   Trials  appear  to  be  handled 
expeditiously,  and  most  evidence  suggests  that  the  courts 
protect  individual  rights  in  criminal  cases.   Verdicts  can  be 
appealed. 

The  popular  tribunals  adjudicate  minor  disputes  on  a  local 
level  in  rural  areas.   The  "judges,"  who  are  appointees  of  the 
Ministry  of  Justice,  are  usually  prominent  local  citizens 


47 


CAPE  VERDE 

without  legal  training.   Their  decisions  can  be  appealed 
within  the  regular  court  system. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  Constitution  recognizes  citizens'  rights  to  the 
inviolability  of  domicile,  correspondence,  and  other  means  of 
communication.   The  law  requires  warrants  issued  by  a  judge 
before  searches  of  homes  may  be  conducted.   There  were  no 
known  cases  of  arbitrary  interference  with  privacy,  family, 
home,  or  correspondence  during  1987.   The  Constitution  also 
contains  the  provision  that  every  citizen  has  the  right  and 
the  duty  to  participate  in  the  political,  economic,  and 
cultural  life  of  the  country.   This  provision  theoretically 
could  be  used  to  force  a  person's  participation  in  activities 
against  his  or  her  will.   In  practice,  there  is  no  evidence  to 
suggest  that  this  provision  has  been  so  used. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Constitution  proclaims  freedom  of  speech  and  intellectual 
creativity,  including  the  rights  of  authorship,  but  it  also 
stipulates  that  none  of  these  rights  and  freedoms  may  be 
exercised  "contrary  to  national  unity."   While  freedom  of  the 
press  is  not  a  specific  constitutional  guarantee,  a  law 
adopted  in  December  1985  assures  citizens  the  right  to  express 
their  thoughts  in  the  press,  but  at  the  same  time  the  party 
underlined  that  this  right  should  be  exercised  responsibly. 

The  weekly  newspaper,  radio,  and  television  are  government 
owned  and  follow  government  policies.   Occasional  articles 
critical  of  some  aspects  of  government  policy  are  printed  or 
broadcast,  but  this  is  probably  done  with  prior  authorization 
from  the  Government.   Local  radio  broadcasts  carry  items  from 
Western  agencies  as  well  as  from  Communist  countries,  generally 
balancing  coverage  and  identifying  sources  on  controversial 
international  issues. 

The  Catholic  Church's  monthly  newspaper,  which  has  carried 
criticism  of  some  aspects  of  life  in  Cape  Verde,  is  tolerated 
without  interference  as  long  as  its  articles  are  not  viewed  as 
a  threat  to  the  Government.   On  occasion,  the  editor  and 
contributors  have  been  called  before  tribunals  to  explain  their 
articles.   There  were  no  reprisals  against  the  newspaper  for 
its  series  of  articles  on  human  rights  abuses. 

Foreign  periodicals  generally  circulate  freely  in  Cape  Verde 
even  when  they  contain  articles  critical  of  or  unflattering  to 
the  Government,  as  is  sometimes  the  case  with  Portuguese 
newspapers.   International  radio  broadcasts  are  received 
clearly  without  interference.   Almost  all  movies  shown  are 
nonpolitical  in  content,  and  some  are  occasionally  censored  on 
moral  grounds. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  freedom  to  meet,  to  associate  freely,  and  to  demonstrate 
is  provided  for  in  the  Constitution.   As  a  practical  matter, 
however,  no  organizations  opposed  to  the  Government  or  its 
policies  are  permitted.   Private  associations  other  than 
sports  clubs  or  religious  youth  groups  do  not  exist.   The 
establishment  of  such  associations  would  be  subject  to 


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CAPE  VERDE 

government  authorization.   Party-sponsored  "mass  organizations" 
of  women  and  youth  are  prominent. 

Demonstrations  occurred  in  1987,  supported  in  part  by  the 
Catholic  Church,  protesting  such  things  as  new  abortion 
legislation  and  educational  reforms.   Several  small  rallies  by 
students  and  unemployed  youth  in  Cape  Verde's  second  largest 
city  also  occurred.   Some  participants  in  these  demonstrations 
were  arrested  and  charged  with  disturbing  the  peace  and 
demonstrating  without  permission.   They  were  subsequently 
released  or  given  light  jail  sentences. 

Workers  in  several  sectors  are  organized  into  unions  within 
the  National  Union  Confederation  (NUC) .   The  Confederation  is 
affiliated  with  the  PAICV  and  headed  by  a  high-ranking  party 
member.   About  one-third  of  the  active  work  force  are  nominal 
members.   Individual  unions  perform  some  traditional  trade 
union  functions  and  act  also  as  party  affiliates.   There  is  no 
reference  to  strikes  or  the  right  to  strike  in  the  Constitution 
or  in  any  legislation.   In  the  absence  of  any  legal  prohibition 
against  strikes,  the  NUC  believes  that  the  right  to  strike 
exists,  but  it  has  never  been  exercised.   Union  leadership  has 
taken  positions  on  specific  issues  in  opposition  to  government 
policies  in  state  enterprises.   The  NUC  participates  in  the 
International  Labor  Organization  and  is  affiliated  with  the 
Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity,  but  has  not  taken 
positions  independent  of  those  officially  sanctioned  by  the 
Government.   It  maintains  contact  with  and  receives  assistance 
from  both  Communist  and  non-Communist  national  unions  abroad. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

The  Constitution  requires  separation  of  church  and  state. 
Freedom  of  worship  is  respected  by  the  Government,  and  members 
of  all  faiths  practice  their  religion  without  harassment.   At 
least  two-thirds  of  the  population,  probably  including  most  of 
the  government  leadership,  are  nominally  Catholic,  but  the 
dominance  of  Catholicism  does  not  appear  to  affect  adversely 
other  faiths.   Evangelical  Protestants  and  Seventh-Day 
Adventists  are  the  two  other  principal  religious  communities. 

At  least  two  faiths,  the  Baha'i  and  "Christian  Rationalism," 
which  were  formally  banned  or  suppressed  under  the  Portuguese, 
have  been  permitted  to  reestablish  themselves  and  operate 
freely  since  independence.   There  are  no  restrictions  on 
religious  practices,  teaching,  or  contacts  with  coreligionists 
outside  Cape  Verde.   The  Catholic  Church,  for  example,  openly 
opposes  birth  control  methods  which  are  advocated  and 
supported  by  the  Government.   A  few  foreign  missionaries  are 
active  in  Cape  Verde,  and  more  than  half  the  Catholic  clergy 
are  non-Cape  Verdeans. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

There  are  no  extraordinary  legal  or  administrative  restrictions 
on  either  travel  or  residence  within  the  country.   All  resident 
Cape  Verdeans  wishing  to  leave  the  country,  either  temporarily 
or  permanently,  must  obtain  exit  permission  from  the 
Government.   Such  permission  has  not  been  denied  for  political 
reasons.   Emigration  has  long  been  an  important  and  recognized 
escape  valve  from  prevailing  harsh  economic  conditions.   The 
Government  goes  to  considerable  effort  to  maintain  close 
contact  with  emigre  communities  and  provides  every  opportunity 
for  Cape  Verdeans  living  abroad  to  maintain  their  ties  with 


49 


CAPE  VERDE 

the  homeland,  including  making  provision  to  vote  in  elections. 
Repatriation  is  a  constitutional  right,  and  the  Government 
does  not  discourage  intending  repatriates. 

The  law  allows  for  revocation  of  citizenship  on  several 
grounds,  including  activities  contrary  to  the  interest  of  the 
country.   However,  there  are  no  known  cases  of  the  Government 
instituting  proceedings  to  deprive  persons  of  citizenship  for 
political  reasons. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  party's  monopoly  of  power  in  Cape  Verde  is  inscribed  in 
the  Constitution.   Opposition  parties  are  illegal  and  do  not 
exist.   Therefore,  citizens  are  unable  to  change  the  one-party 
political  system  through  democratic  means.   The  small  group  of 
men  who  actually  led  the  struggle  for  independence  occupy 
positions  of  leadership  in  both  the  party  and  the  Government. 
The  Secretary  General  of  the  party  is  President  of  the 
Republic,  the  Deputy  Secretary  General  is  Prime  Minister,  and 
the  third-ranking  party  official  is  President  of  the  National 
Assembly.   Five  other  members  of  the  party's  Political 
Commission  are  also  Ministers.   Not  all  ministers  or 
secretaries  of  state  are  party  members,  but  all  clearly  serve 
at  the  pleasure  of  the  party. 

Current  party  membership  is  about  6,000,  which  is  about 
4  percent  of  the  total  adult  population  and  represents  a 
doubling  in  size  since  independence  in  1975.   Within  this 
elitist  party,  there  exists  a  modest  scope  for  meaningful 
political  activity.   The  delegates  to  the  Second  Party 
Congress  in  1983,  and  the  leadership  itself,  were  elected  by 
secret  ballot  with  some  unexpected  changes  in  the  order  of 
precedence  for  various  ministers.   The  party  leadership  also 
made  an  obvious  effort  to  give  women  and  persons  with  less 
solid  revolutionary  credentials  more  prominent  roles. 
However,  women,  who  comprise  14  percent  of  the  total  party 
membership,  remain  underrepresented.   The  party  membership  is 
young  (47  percent  under  30  years  of  age),  disproportionately 
urban  (50  percent  in  a  nation  which  is  two-thirds  rural),  and 
heavily  representative  of  the  bureaucracy  (25  percent  of  party 
members  are  civil  servants  or  employees  of  state  enterprises). 

National  Assembly  elections  were  last  held  in  December  1985. 
A  single  slate  of  candidates,  all  of  whom  were  either  party 
members  or  nominees  with  party  approval,  was  presented  to 
voters.   The  final  list  of  candidates  was  selected  after  three 
stages  of  local  consultations,  during  which  as  many  as  four 
candidates--not  necessarily  party  members--were  discussed  for 
each  seat.   As  a  result  of  this  winnowing  process,  several 
prominent  nonparty  candidates  won  party  approval  and  election 
to  the  Assembly.   Twice-yearly  Assembly  sessions  serve  to 
ratify  earlier  party/government  decisions,  but  issues  are 
debated  openly  with  critical  interventions  reported  in  the 
media,  and  voting  on  these  issues  is  far  from  unanimous. 
Motions  introduced  by  the  Government  are  not  always  adopted. 
Deputies  criticize  government  policies  and  decisions,  but 
policy  decisions  already  made  by  the  Council  of  Ministers  are 
not  reversed. 


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CAPE  VERDE 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  in  the  past  has  permitted  visits  by  private 
organizations  to  investigate  conditions  of  persons  convicted 
for  political  or  related  offenses.   There  are  no  known 
instances  in  which  the  Government  has  been  the  subject  of 
resolutions,  investigations,  or  other  human  rights  actions  by 
official  international  organizations.   Allegations  of  human 
rights  abuses  have  been  made  by  a  few  Cape  Verdeans  living 
abroad  and  by  a  locally  published  Catholic  newspaper,  but  no 
violations  have  ever  been  proved.   There  are  no  known  official 
or  nongovernmental  human  rights  organizations  in  the  country, 
although  the  Lawyers'  Association  for  the  Provision  of 
Judicial  Support  performs  some  of  the  functions  of  such  an 
organization . 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  country  has  made  substantial  strides  in  providing  health 
care,  education,  and  other  services  to  the  population.   Racial 
discrimination  is  not  a  problem  in  Cape  Verde,  where  the  vast 
majority  of  the  population  shares  various  proportions  of 
Portuguese  and  African  ancestry.   Sex  discrimination  exists, 
although  it  is  banned  by  the  Constitution.   Many  traditional 
male-oriented  values  of  the  Portuguese  and  African  ancestors 
of  today's  Cape  Verdeans  are  still  part  of  the  country's 
culture.   The  Code  of  the  Family,  enacted  in  October  1981, 
prescribes  the  full  equality  of  men  and  women  in  law,  including 
equal  pay  for  equal  work,  but  in  practice  women  have  been 
customarily  excluded  from  certain  types  of  employment  and  are 
often  paid  less  than  men.   Both  the  Government  and  the  party 
are  making  efforts  to  bring  women  into  various  economic  and 
social  activities  where  they  have  been  traditionally  absent. 
The  Government  has  included  women  in  the  labor-intensive 
economic  development  projects  financed  by  foreign  grants.   The 
Organization  of  Cape  Verdean  Women  was  founded  in  1980,  with 
party  encouragement,  to  sensitize  the  Government  and  Cape 
Verdeans  in  general  to  issues  affecting  women. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Minimum  wages  are  established  by  the  Government  for  both  civil 
servants  and  private  enterprises.   As  of  January  1,  1987,  the 
minimum  wage  for  civil  servants  was  approximately  $84  per 
month.   Wages  for  unskilled  workers  are  considerably  lower, 
and  in  rural  areas  the  daily  minimum  for  the  least  skilled 
types  of  labor  is  about  $1.62  per  day.   The  minimum  age  for 
employment  is  14,  and  children  under  16  are  prohibited  from 
working  at  night,  more  than  7  hours  per  day,  or  in 
establishments  where  toxic  products  are  used.   All  enterprises 
submit  a  yearly  report  to  the  Director  General  of  Labor  with 
information  on  salary  and  ages  of  each  employee.   This 
provides  the  Government  with  a  vehicle  for  controlling 
employment  practices.   There  does  not  appear  to  be  an  overall 
safety  and  health  code,  although  some  regulations  exist  in 
this  area.   The  normal  workweek  for  adults  is  44  hours  over 
5-1/2  days.   A  worker  is  entitled  to  at  least  1  free  day  per 
week.   These  regulations  seem  to  be  respected  in  practice. 


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CENTRAL  AFRICAN  REPUBLIC 


General  Andre  Dieudonne  Kolingba  has  headed  the  Government 
since  his  accession  to  power  in  a  bloodless  coup  on  September 
1,  1981.   He  holds  all  political  power  and  is  the  final 
arbiter  on  all  government  matters,  but  he  has  permitted  some 
increased  popular  participation  in  the  political  process, 
particularly  on  local  questions.   In  1986  President  Kolingba 
announced  plans  for  the  creation  of  a  single  national 
political  party--the  Central  African  Democratic  Assembly 
(RDC) .   Later  that  year,  he  introduced  a  new  Constitution 
which  was  subsequently  approved  in  a  national  referendum  on 
November  21,  1986.   He  was  also  elected  to  a  6-year  term  as 
President  in  that  vote.   The  new  Constitution  provides  for  a 
bicameral  Parliament  which  includes  a  National  Assembly  and  an 
Economic  and  Regional  Council,  representing  the  principal 
economic  and  regional  sectors  of  the  country.   General 
elections  were  held  on  July  31,  1987  for  the  52  seats  in  the 
National  Assembly.   One-half  of  the  delegates  of  the  Economic 
and  Regional  Council  will  be  selected  by  the  President,  while 
the  other  half  will  be  elected  by  the  members  of  the  National 
Assembly. 

The  Minister  of  Interior  is  in  charge  of  the  civilian  police 
force  (gendarmerie).   These  police  normally  man  barriers  on 
the  major  roads  and  keep  records  of  the  movement  of  vehicles. 
The  Presidency  has  its  own  security  force,  which  has 
collateral  responsibility  with  the  border  police  for  airport 
security.   The  Ministry  of  Defense  also  has  a  military  police 
force  (gendarmarie  national),  in  addition  to  the  armed  forces 
which  number  about  3,800  soldiers. 

The  Central  African  Republic  is  a  poor,  landlocked,  and 
sparsely  populated  country.   Most  of  its  inhabitants  derive 
their  livelihood  from  subsistence  agriculture.   Only  about  1 
percent  of  the  population  is  university  educated.   The 
essentially  free  enterprise,  agrarian  economy,  one  of  the 
world's  least  monetized,  has  suffered  in  the  past  from 
inadequately  coordinated  and  implemented  government  policies, 
occasional  drought,  and  a  poorly  trained  work  force. 
Expatriates  dominate  the  small  manufacturing  and  commercial 
sectors  of  the  economy. 

There  was  some  improvement  in  the  human  rights  situation  in 
1987.   In  particular,  the  7-month  trial  of  former  emperor 
Jean-Bedel  Bokassa  in  a  civilian  court  dominated  the  1987 
headlines.   Bokassa,  who  received  the  death  sentence,  had  four 
defense  lawyers--two  Central  African  and  two  French--and  was 
given  ample  time  for  preparing  his  defense,  calling  and 
cross-examining  witnesses,  and  presenting  his  version  of 
events  in  open  sessions.   The  trial  was  fully  reported  in  the 
local  news  media,  including  full  television  replays  each 
evening,  and  in  the  international  press.   This  long  trial  set 
a  precedent  in  Africa  in  recording  abuses  of  limitless  power. 
At  the  end  of  1987,  the  Supreme  Court  was  reviewing  technical 
aspects  of  the  trial. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  killing  or  summary  executions  for 
political  motives  by  government  forces.   However,  the 


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CENTRAL  AFRICAN  REPUBLIC 

Government  again  faced  sporadic  challenges  from  dissidents  in 
the  northwest  corner  of  the  country,  although  at  a  much 
reduced  level  from  previous  years.   In  the  action,  the  army 
reportedly  killed  two  rebels  near  Paoua  in  May,  and  guerrillas 
killed  a  village  mayor  from  the  same  region  in  late  July. 
Some  reports  allege  that  the  two  dissidents  killed  near  Paoua 
might  have  been  attempting  to  negotiate  a  surrender.   In  the 
northeast.  Central  African  military  forces  ambushed  a  large 
band  of  "poachers"  in  May,  killing  some  and  arresting  others. 
Also  in  this  region  a  dissident  group  killed  a  gendarmerie 
commander  from  Birao  in  a  shoot-out  in  March. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  disappearance. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  penal  code  prohibits  torture  and  provides  for  sanctions 
against  persons  guilty  of  physical  abuse.   There  are 
infrequent  reports  of  beatings  in  prisons,  where  conditions 
are  generally  harsh  and  medical  attention  is  sometimes 
inadequate.   However,  family  members,  legal  counsel,  doctors, 
and  clergy  generally  have  access  to  prisoners.   It  is  not 
uncommon  for  selected  prisoners,  including  prominent  political 
detainees,  to  receive  special  privileges,  including  permission 
to  leave  the  prison  periodically. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

In  the  past,  the  Government  has  frequently  detained  suspected 
opponents  without  charge  or  trial.   In  1986  according  to 
Amnesty  International's  1987  report,  "few  arrests  of 
opposition  political  party  supporters  were  reported  in 
comparison  to  previous  years."   This  trend  continued  in  1987. 
While  some  political  detainees  were  still  being  held  at  the 
end  of  1987,  it  is  difficult  to  say  precisely  how  many. 

Under  local  law,  political  detainees  can  be  held  without 
charge  for  as  long  as  2  months,  but  at  that  point  detainees 
must  either  be  formally  charged  or  released.   If  they  are 
charged,  local  judicial  procedures  (which  are  modeled  on 
French  procedures)  allow  for  open-ended  preventive  detention 
while  the  public  prosecutor  prepares  the  State's  case  against 
the  accused.   In  practice,  some  political  detainees  are  held 
much  longer  than  2  months  without  formal  charges  being  brought 
against  them.   In  the  case  of  common  criminals,  the  law 
requires  that  they  be  brought  within  96  hours  before  a 
magistrate  who  decides  whether  formal  charges  will  be  filed. 
Approximately  five  well-known  political  opponents  live  in 
exile.   Several  of  them  have  been  sentenced  to  death  in 
absentia  for  crimes  against  the  State. 

The  Government  has  been  cited  by  the  International  Labor 
Organization  (ILO)  for  being  in  violation  of  ILO  Conventions 
29  and  105  for  allegedly  imposing  compulsory  labor  on  prisoners 
jailed  for  unauthorized  political  activities.   However,  the 
ILO  case  dates  back  to  the  early  1980's,  and  there  are  no 
reports  since  then  of  political  prisoners  being  forced  to 
perform  compulsory  labor.   There  is  a  local  penal  practice 
called  "corvee,"  which  administratively  (and  virtually 
automatically)  sentences  men  without  proper  identification 
papers  to  2  days'  labor — usually  clearing  roadside  weeds. 


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CENTRAL  AFRICAN  REPUBLIC 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

In  most  cases  involving  common  criminals,  the  Government 
permits  French-modeled  legal  procedures  to  be  fairly  and 
openly  applied  and  the  laws  to  be  properly  executed.   The  new 
Constitution  continues  the  provisions  of  the  constitutional 
decree  of  September  21,  1985,  which  states  that  the  judiciary 
"is  guaranteed  independence  (from)  the  legislative  and 
executive  (power)."   However,  the  President  is  the  guarantor 
of  that  independence,  notably  in  his  role  as  "President  of  the 
Supreme  Magistrative  Council." 

A  Special  Tribunal  comprising  civilian  magistrates  and 
military  advisers  adjudicates  political  cases.   The  Special 
Tribunal  differs  from  ordinary  courts  in  that  there  is  no 
appeal  process  although  the  possibility  of  presidential 
clemency  does  exist.   Trials  must  be  specifically  authorized 
by  the  President.   Political  detainees  have  a  right  to  legal 
counsel  at  all  stages  in  the  formal  procedures  before  the 
Special  Tribunal.   Trials  are  open  to  the  public,  and  the 
proceedings  are  often  reported  in  the  local  media.   President 
Kolingba  has  authorized  the  meeting  of  the  Special  Tribunal  on 
a  fairly  frequent  basis. 

On  October  23,  1986,  former  emperor  Jean-Bedel  Bokassa 
unexpectedly  returned  to  the  Central  African  Republic  from  his 
exile  in  France.   Bokassa,  who  was  sentenced  to  death  in 
absentia  in  1980  for  crimes  including  murder,  cannibalism,  and 
embezzlement,  was  immediately  detained  on  his  return. 
Subsequently  the  1980  verdict  was  annulled,  and  he  was  retried 
in  the  Bangui  Criminal  Court.   Of  the  14  charges  against  him, 
he  was  found  guilty  of  4--complicity  in  assassination,  arrest 
and  imprisonment  of  children,  arbitrary  arrest  and 
sequestration,  and  diversion  of  public  funds  and  goods--and 
sentenced  to  death.   At  the  end  of  1987,  the  proceedings  were 
undergoing  judicial  review  by  the  Supreme  Court,  which  has  the 
right  to  overturn  the  verdict  if  technical  flaws  are  found  in 
the  trial.   Lacking  that,  only  presidential  clemency  remains 
as  a  means  of  changing  the  sentence. 

The  number  of  political  prisoners  is  unknown.   Major  Gregoire 
Miango,  a  prominent  political  prisoner  arrested  in  late  1983 
and  released  on  April  14,  1986,  remains  restricted  to  his  home 
town,  where  he  currently  resides  with  his  family. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

With  the  significant  exception  of  political  and  security 
matters,  the  Government  does  not  normally  interfere  in  the 
private  lives  of  citizens.   The  law  formally  prohibits  the 
invasion  of  the  home  without  a  warrant,  and  this  prohibition 
is  not  generally  abused  in  civil  and  minor  criminal  cases. 
However,  if  a  political  crime  is  involved.  Ordinance  81/035, 
which  instituted  the  Special  Tribunal,  authorizes  searches  at 
any  time  and  at  any  place.  These  searches  have  been  conducted 
without  specific  warrants.   There  is  no  forced  membership  in 
the  RDC--the  only  legal  party.   There  is  no  interference  with 
the  right  to  marry  or  have  children  as  one  chooses.   Parents 
are  free  to  teach  their  children  religious  beliefs  and 
practices,  with  the  exception  of  the  Jehovah's  Witnesses 
(Section  2 . c) . 


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CENTRAL  AFRICAN  REPUBLIC 
Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  right  to  speak  publicly  about  political  developments  or  to 
criticize  the  Government  is  circumscribed  although  most  people 
feel  free  to  comment  privately  on  political  affairs.   The 
Government  prohibits  the  distribution  of  tracts  and  literature 
deemed  to  be  subversive.   A  Central  African  journalist  working 
for  the  Government,  Thomas  Kwazo,  was  sentenced  in  August  to 
prison  for  an  article  he  filed  with  a  foreign  press  service, 
without  the  approval  of  his  supervisor  in  the  Ministry  of 
Communication,  about  an  alleged  meeting  between  President 
Kolingba  and  ex-emperor  Bokassa. 

Since  July  1,  1986,  there  has  been  only  one  regularly 
published  newspaper,  which,  along  with  others  that  appear 
sporadically,  is  carefully  monitored  by  the  Government.   Radio 
and  television  are  also  controlled  by  the  Government. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Despite  Constitutional  guarantees  of  the  right  to  assembly, 
only  assemblies  of  a  nonpolitical  nature  can  take  place 
without  government  approval.   Government  forces  guickly 
disband  unlawful  assemblies  and  in  some  instances  participants 
have  been  arrested.   Groups  that  register  with  the  Department 
of  the  Interior  can  hold  meetings.   (Also  see  Section  3.) 

In  May  1981,  former  President  David  Dacko  suspended  the 
General  Union  of  Central  African  Workers,  and  no  effective 
labor  movement  has  existed  in  the  country  since  that  time. 
The  Kolingba  Government,  which  came  to  power  in  September  of 
that  year,  never  rescinded  this  suspension.   The  Government 
tacitly  approves  of  an  apolitical  labor  federation  that  exists 
mostly  on  paper  and  has  no  collective  bargaining  authority. 
The  ILO  has  a  case  pending  before  it  involving  the  Central 
African  Republic's  alleged  violations  of  the  right  to  freedom 
of  association  under  ILO  Convention  87.   The  Government  has 
yet  to  provide  the  substantive  information  reguested  by  the 
ILO  committee  reviewing  the  case. 

The  right  to  strike  exists  in  principle,  although  fear  of 
government  reprisals  has  dampened  the  enthusiasm  of  potential 
strikers.   In  response  to  a  month-long  student  strike  in 
March-April  1986,  the  Government  has  banned  boycotts  of 
classes  and  all  demonstrations  by  school  children  and 
university  students,  except  for  those  authorized  by  the 
Ministry  of  the  Interior.   Those  violating  this  prohibition 
face  up  to  a  3-year  prison  term. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

With  one  notable  exception,  the  Government  does  not  generally 
interfere  with  religious  activities.   Religious  organizations 
and  missionary  groups  are  provided  religious  freedom  by 
Central  African  custom.   No  single  religion  predominates,  nor 
does  the  Government  appear  to  discriminate  in  favor  of  or 
against  specific  religions. 

There  was  a  major  departure  from  the  Government's  policy  of 
noninterference  in  religious  activities  when  the  Minister  of 
the  Interior  formally  prohibited  the  activities  of  the 
Jehovah's  Witnesses  in  February  1986.   This  decree  was  aimed 
primarily  against  the  foreign  missionary  Jehovah's  Witnesses 


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CENTRAL  AFRICAN  REPUBLIC 

who  had  refused  to  participate  in  government-sponsored 
activities  or  to  encourage  allegiance  to  the  Government.   As  a 
result,  most  foreign  missionary  Jehovah's  Witnesses  have  left 
the  country,  and  the  four  who  remain  avoid  proselytizing, 
limiting  their  activities  to  administrative  matters. 
Native-born  adherents  to  the  sect  continue  to  meet  and  worship 
and  have  not  experienced  official  interference  for  the  past 
year. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

People  are  generally  free  to  move  about  within  the  country, 
although  there  are  road  checkpoints  and  periodic  civil 
conflict  in  the  north.   The  right  of  voluntary  travel  and 
repatriation  is  recognized.   Financial  and  educational 
constraints  rather  than  government  controls  act  to  restrict 
most  foreign  travel  and  emigration.   No  case  of  revocation  of 
citizenship  was  reported  in  1987. 

The  country  remains  relatively  hospitable  to  foreigners;  the 
largest  foreign  population  living  either  temporarily  or 
permanently  in  the  country  is  from  Chad.   Approximately  10,000 
Chadians  live  in  Bangui,  where  they  are  generally  engaged  in 
small  commerce,  and  along  the  northern  border  area,  where  they 
are  engaged  in  farming  and  cattle  herding.   Due  to  the 
increase  in  political  stability  in  Chad  during  the  past  2 
years,  most  of  the  nearly  45,000  Chadian  refugees  living  in 
the  Central  African  Republic  in  1984  and  1985  were  voluntarily 
repatriated  in  1985  and  1986.   As  of  late  1987,  the  total 
Chadian  refugee  population  in  the  Central  African  Republic  was 
less  than  3,000. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  do  not  have  the  right  to  change  their  government. 
However,  since  1984,  Kolingba  has  progressively  reduced  the 
military  presence  in  favor  of  a  civilian  government,  presently 
composed  of  18  ministers,  5  secretaries  of  state,  and  5  high 
commissioners.   Although  in  practice  he  allows  his  Cabinet 
considerable  leeway  in  the  day-to-day  activities  of  government 
administration,  he  makes  all  important  policy  decisions. 

The  1986  Constitution  calls  for  a  Parliament  consisting  of  a 
National  Assembly  and  an  Economic  and  Regional  Council.   For 
the  first  time  since  he  took  power  in  1981,  Kolingba  in  1987 
allowed  public  and  private  assembly  for  political  purposes 
when  142  candidates  for  the  newly  created  National  Assembly 
were  given  2  weeks  to  campaign  for  52  seats--3  from  each  of 
the  16  prefectures  and  4  from  Bangui.   Although  the  candidates 
were  vetted  by  the  Ministry  of  the  Interior  before  they  were 
eilowed  to  run,  they  were  not  required  to  be  RDC  members,  and 
there  is  no  indication  any  potential  candidates  were  prevented 
for  political  reasons  from  running.   Election  results  were 
announced  on  August  8,  1987  for  all  but  two  prefectures. 
While  the  delay  in  the  northeastern  province  of  Vakaga  was  due 
to  transportation  difficulties,  voters  returned  to  the  polls 
on  August  30,  1987  in  the  Nana-Mambere  region  as  the  first 
election  was  marred  by  irregularities.   The  results  from  these 
two  prefectures  were  announced  subsequently. 


-779  0-88-3 


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CENTRAL  AFRICAN  REPUBLIC 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  does  not  welcome  international  or 
nongovernmental  investigation  of  alleged  human  rights  abuses 
but  does  not  prohibit  such  investigations.   Representatives  of 
Amnesty  International  and  the  International  Committee  of  the 
Red  Cross  visit  Bangui  periodically. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

There  are  more  than  80  ethnic  groups  in  the  Central  African 
Republic,  each  with  its  own  language.   About  70  percent  are 
Baya-Mandjia  and  Banda.   While  President  Kolingba  appears  to 
desire  an  ethnic  balance  in  his  Cabinet,  preference  for  high 
government  positions  has  occasionally  been  given  to  members  of 
his  Yakoma  ethnic  group  (approximately  10  percent  of  the 
population) . 

The  Constitution  mandates  that  all  persons  are  equal  before 
the  law  without  regard  to  race,  ethnic  origin,  region,  sex,  or 
religion.   The  law  notwithstanding,  women  have  traditionally 
been  accorded  a  lower  status  than  men.   For  example,  there  is 
less  emphasis  on  the  importance  of  education  for  women,  which 
is  reflected  in  the  low  literacy  level  of  the  adult  female 
population  (19  percent),  as  compared  with  the  adult  male 
population  (49  percent).   The  requirements  of  their  work  at 
home  and  in  the  fields  prevent  many  women  from  receiving  any 
formal  education. 

Although  polygamy  is  common,  the  legal  system  and  traditional 
practice  support  the  rights  of  the  wives  and  all  children  of 
such  marriages.   A  national  women's  organization  exists  and  is 
supported  by  the  Government.   While  there  are  no  women 
ministers,  secretaries  of  state,  or  high  commissioners  in  the 
Kolingba  Government,  four  women  were  candidates  in  the  July 
1987  legislative  elections. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Employment  of  children  under  14  years  of  age  is  forbidden  by 
law.   While  it  is  only  loosely  enforced,  jobs  are  in  such 
demand  that  children  in  the  labor  force  are  generally  limited 
to  working  as  helpers  in  family  businesses,  such  as  selling 
food  products  or  cigarettes. 

Minimum  wages  have  been  established  by  the  Government,  and  a 
social  security  system  exists.   The  minimum  wage  for  a  manual 
laborer,  for  example,  is  about  $40  per  month,  and  about  $140 
per  month  for  a  stenotypist.   However,  much  labor  is  performed 
outside  the  wage  and  social  security  system,  especially  in  the 
large  subsistence  agricultural  sector,  and  probably  does  not 
meet  the  established  minimum  levels.   The  law  sets  maximum 
working  hours  for  government  employees  and  most  people  in  the 
private  sector  at  40  hours  per  week.   Domestic  employees  may 
work  up  to  55  hours.   There  are  also  general  laws  of  health 
and  safety  standards  in  the  work  place,  but  they  are  neither 
precisely  defined  nor  actively  enforced. 


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The  Chadian  Government  is  led  by  President  Hissein  Habre,  who 
came  to  power  in  1982  in  the  course  of  a  protracted  civil 
war.   Relying  upon  the  armed  forces  as  his  power  base,  Mr. 
Habre  heads  the  Council  of  Ministers  which,  along  with  an 
appointed  National  Consultative  Council,  comprises  the 
executive  and  legislative  branches  of  the  Government.   The 
multiethnic  National  Union  for  Independence  and  Revolution 
(UNIR)  was  created  in  1984  to  broaden  Habre' s  political  base, 
and  in  1987  it  remained  the  only  officially  recognized 
political  party.   At  present,  there  is  no  constitution.   Laws, 
decrees,  and  ordinances  are  proposed,  in  accordance  with  the 
Fundamental  Act  of  1982,  by  the  President  and  the  Council  of 
Ministers  and  discussed  by  the  National  Consultative  Council 
prior  to  promulgation. 

In  1987  President  Habre  continued  a  policy  of  national 
reconciliation  under  which  exiled  members  of  former  opposition 
groups  have  been  encouraged  to  return  to  the  country  and  those 
who  remained  in  Chad  persuaded  to  return  to  legality.   Many  of 
these  former  opponents,  including  some  who  were  in  armed 
conflict  with  the  Government  as  recently  as  2  years  ago,  have 
been  brought  into  the  civil  service  and  army,  several  at  the 
ministerial  level.   However,  a  number  of  exiles  who  returned 
to  Chad  in  1986  and  1987  were  arrested  or  disappeared. 

In  October  1986,  the  bulk  of  the  GUNT  (Transitional  Government 
of  National  Unity)  forces,  which  previously  had  been  loyal  to 
GUNT  leader  Goukouni  Oueddei,  rallied  to  President  Habre' s 
banner,  following  Goukouni ' s  break  with  Libya's  Mu'ammar 
Qadhafi,  and  were  integrated  into  the  national  army.   In  a 
series  of  battles  beginning  in  early  January  1987,  the  Chadian 
army  defeated  its  Libyan  and  few  remaining  dissident  enemies. 
By  September  the  army  had  liberated  over  90  percent  of  the 
northern  Chadian  territory  formerly  under  Libyan  military 
occupation.   At  the  end  of  1987,  Libyan  forces  remained  only 
in  the  so-called  Aozou  Strip,  and  an  OAU-sponsored  cease-fire 
had  been  in  effect  for  over  3  months.   The  OAU  Ad  Hoc 
Committee  on  The  Border  Dispute  Between  Libya  and  Chad 
continued  to  seek  a  peaceful  resolution  of  the  conflict,  but 
prospects  for  success  were  not  high. 

Chad  is  desperately  poor,  and  its  estimated  population  of  4.5 
million  has  one  of  the  lowest  per  capita  annual  incomes  ($178) 
in  the  world.   Cotton  is  the  major  source  of  Chad's  export 
earnings  and  in  the  past  has  produced  most  of  the  Government's 
revenues.   Approximately  40  percent  of  Chadians  who  work  for 
wages  are  employed  in  the  cotton  sector.   Since  1985  world 
cotton  prices  have  been  disastrously  low,  and  in  1987  price 
support  costs  for  cotton  far  exceeded  income  from  export 
sales.   The  Government  relies  heavily  on  foreign  aid, 
especially  from  France,  to  finance  current  government 
operations  and  to  fund  development  projects. 

Chad's  22-year-long  civil  war  and  now  its  war  against  Libya 
produced  conditions  in  which  human  rights  often  have  been 
violated  by  the  forces  in  conflict.   Chad  remains  on  a  war 
footing,  and  tight  governmental  controls  restrict  basic 
freedoms,  e.g.,  press  and  assembly.   However,  with  almost  all 
of  inhabited  Chad  now  free  of  Libyan  forces,  violence  has 
subsided;  violation  of  human  rights  due  to  war  largely  ended 
in  1987.   The  occasional  excesses  of  uncontrolled,  marauding 
soldiers  are  now  the  exception  rather  than  the  rule. 


58 


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RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

Precise  information  on  possible  extrajudicial  executions  by 
government  and  Libyan/dissident  forces  was  not  available. 
There  were  no  verified  instances  of  government-instigated 
political  killings  in  1987. 

Seven  political  killings  that  reportedly  occurred  in  1985 
first  came  to  light  in  1987.   According  to  Amnesty 
International,  the  victims  included  two  members  of  armed 
opposition  groups,  two  persons  with  ties  to  an  opposition 
group  called  the  Democratic  Revolutionary  Council,  and  three 
former  supporters  of  opposition  groups  who  had  voluntarily 
returned  to  Chad.   Most  were  allegedly  arrested  by  members  of 
the  Chadian  Security  Service  (DDS)  or  the  Presidential 
Security  Service  (SP),  and  were  summarily  executed. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reported  disappearances  during  1987.   In  its 
1987  Report  (covering  1986),  Amnesty  International,  however, 
expressed  concern  that  the  Government  had  failed  in  1986  to 
account  for  a  number  of  people  who  "disappeared"  after  being 
detained  in  previous  years,  and  who  were  reported  mostly  to 
have  been  executed  extrajudicially  by  government  security 
forces.   One  case,  that  of  Felix  Ekeh,  a  Nigerian  citizen, 
became  the  subject  of  Chadian-Nigerian  discussions. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

There  were  no  confirmed  reports  of  torture  of  prisoners  in 
Chad  during  1987,  although  Amnesty  International  reported  the 
probable  torture  and  death  of  Abdoulaye  Awidjeli  Bichara  in 
1986.   According  to  eyewitness  testimony,  Bichara  was  left 
unattended  in  the  courtyard  of  DDS  headquarters  in  serious 
physical  condition,  apparently  as  the  result  of  torture,  and 
died.   Chadian  authorities  have  not  confirmed  his  death. 

There  were  also  allegations  in  1987  that  the  Presidential 
guards  used  beatings,  detentions,  and  other  forms  of 
intimidation  as  a  means  of  maintaining  security  in  parts  of 
Guera  prefecture;  an  armed  Hadjerai  insurrection  movement 
there  has  ambushed  and  killed  numbers  of  these  Presidential 
guards . 

Prison  conditions  in  Chad  are  generally  poor.   Most  Chadian 
prison  personnel  have  had  no  professional  training,  and  abuses 
in  handling  prisoners  are  not  uncommon. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Individuals  who  express  views  critical  of  or  different  from 
those  of  the  Government  are  often  regarded  as  endangering  the 
security  of  the  State  and  may  be  subject  to  indefinite 
detention  without  trial.   The  total  number  of  detainees,  as 
distinct  from  prisoners  of  war,  is  not  known.   However,  a 
number  of  people,  primarily  members  of  a  clan  of  the  Hadjerai 
tribe,  were  arrested  on  security  grounds  in  1987  and  remained 
in  detention  without  charge  or  prospects  of  trial.   The 
Government  frequently  holds  such  detainees  incommunicado. 


59 


CHAD 

Saleh  Gaba,  a  Chadian  journalist  and  part-time  reporter  for 
the  Associated  Press  and  a  local  Roman  Catholic  radio  station, 
was  arrested  in  mid-July.   After  calls  for  his  release  by 
Amnesty  International,  the  Government  announced  in  late  August 
that  Gaba  had  been  accused  of  killing  two  peasants.   In 
December  President  Habre  told  reporters  that  Gaba  had  been 
captured  with  arms  in  his  possession  and  that  he  would  be 
tried  for  illegal  possession  of  arms.   At  the  end  of  the  year 
Gaba  was  still  being  held  incommunicado  in  an  undisclosed 
location,  and  no  trial  date  had  been  set. 

Despite  President  Habre's  national  reconciliation  efforts. 
Amnesty  International  reported  in  September  1987  that  it 
continued  to  receive  reports  of  the  detention  by  government 
security  forces  of  former  Chadian  exiles  upon  their  return  to 
Chad.   Three  who  were  arrested  in  1986,  Hadja  Merami,  her 
daughter  Azzina,  and  Mahamat  Abdelbaqui,  were  believed  to  be 
still  detained  without  charge  at  the  end  of  1987.   Amnesty 
International  also  received  reports  of  the  detention  without 
charge  of  relatives  of  government  opponents.   Two  of  them, 
Moussa  Konate  and  Abdellatif  Tidjani,  may  still  have  been  in 
detention  at  the  end  of  1987.   Habre's  principal  rival, 
ex-President  Goukouni  Oueddei,  remained  in  exile  in  1987, 
demanding  a  restructuring  of  the  Chadian  army  and  of  the  sole 
legal  political  party,  UNIR. 

The  International  Labor  Organization  (ILO)  has  been  critical 
of  Chad  in  the  past  for  the  use  of  forced  labor.   The 
Government  is  continuing  discussions  with  the  ILO  on  revising 
outdated  labor  laws  which  do  not  meet  ILO  norms,  including  the 
ILO's  conventions  on  forced  labor. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  regular  Chadian  judicial  system  (the  Supreme  Court  and 
several  lower  courts)  and  criminal  code  have  evolved  from  the 
body  of  law  (Napoleonic  Code)  inherited  from  the  former 
colonial  power,  France.   In  theory,  this  law  incorporates 
safeguards  against  arbitrary  arrests  and  provides  for 
specified  detainee  rights,  including  the  right  to  counsel  and 
the  right  to  be  promptly  informed  of  charges.   In  practice, 
armed  conflict  over  more  than  21  years  has  severely  disrupted 
the  legal  system,  but  the  Government  has  made  efforts  to 
reestablish  civilian  law  enforcement  in  liberated  areas, 
especially  the  operation  of  the  regular  courts. 

Whether  accused  of  crimes  or  security  offenses,  most  Chadians 
do  not  get  speedy  trials.   Many  are  held  for  extended  periods 
and  then  released  without  having  come  to  trial,  in  part 
because  of  the  rudimentary  nature  of  the  Chadian  judicial 
system.   There  are  only  a  few  trained  lawyers,  judges,  and 
other  court  personnel.   Most  of  Chad's  tribunals  do  not  even 
have  law  books.   The  few  trained  judicial  officials  complain 
of  a  heavy  backlog  of  cases. 

There  is  also  a  traditional  system  of  law  presided  over  by 
sultans  and  chiefs.   This  traditional  system  is  generally 
effective  and  fair  in  resolving  property  and  other  civil 
disputes  and  in  dealing  with  cases  involving  petty  local 
crime.   In  theory,  decisions  in  customary  courts  may  be 
appealed  to  the  regular  courts. 


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f.  Arbitary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Under  Chadian  law,  homes  may  be  searched  only  during  the  day 
and  under  authority  of  a  warrant.   In  practice,  however,  there 
are  many  instances  where  this  law  has  not  been  respected. 
Correspondence  carried  by  people  traveling  overland  in  Chad  is 
often  checked  by  authorities  at  various  points,  but 
correspondence  sent  through  the  Chadian  postal  system  is  less 
likely  to  be  subject  to  such  controls. 

g.  Violations  of  Humanitarian  Law  in  Armed  Conflicts 

Over  the  years,  there  have  been  numerous  reports  of  human 
rights  abuses  by  all  sides  in  the  conflict,  including  reports 
of  summary  executions  of  prisoners  and  suspected  opponents, 
kidnapings,  and  burning  of  villages  and  crops.   The  extent  of 
Libyan  human  rights  violations  is  unkown  but  is  reported  to  be 
extensive.   The  Chadian  Government  has  made  repeated  charges 
of  Libyan  human  rights  abuses,  including  poisoning  wells  and 
mistreating  Chadian  prisoners  of  war  (POW's).   In  a  public 
statement  November  6,  the  International  Committee  of  the  Red 
Cross  (ICRC)  cited  Libya  for  violating  the  3rd  Geneva 
Convention  concerning  treatment  of  prisoners  of  war.   Earlier 
in  1987,  the  ICRC  had  cited  Chad  for  showing  Libyan  POW's  in 
public  in  violation  of  Article  13  of  the  Geneva  Convention. 
There  were  reports  that  at  least  one  Libyan  soldier  was 
executed  by  the  Libyans  after  Chadian  forces  overran  Libyan 
positions  in  northern  Chad. 

Chad  currently  holds  several  hundred  former  members  of  armed 
factions  opposed  to  the  Government,  as  well  as  a  large  number 
of  Libyan  POW's.   The  Government  considers  them  to  be  POW's 
rather  than  "political  detainees."   The  Government  permits 
representatives  of  the  ICRC  to  visit  regularly  about  600  POW's 
captured  before  early  1986  who  are  mostly  Chadian,  but  it 
steadfastly  refuses  to  permit  ICRC  access  to  POW's  who  have 
been  captured  since  1986.   Estimates  of  the  number  of  recent 
captives  range  from  600  to  2,000.   The  Chadian  Government 
states  it  will  permit  ICRC  visits  to  Libyan  POW's  if  Libya 
reciprocates.   So  far,  Libya  has  refused  ICRC  access  to  any 
Chadian  POW's  held  in  Libya. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Under  Chadian  law,  freedom  of  speech  is  assured,  but  in 
practice  public  or  private  statements  that  the  authorities 
consider  seditious  may  lead  to  arrest.   There  is  no  prior 
restraint  on  the  publication  or  broadcast  of  information  in 
Chad,  but  the  few  Chadian  journalists,  most  of  whom  work  for 
the  government-controlled  media,  are  careful  not  to  criticize 
the  Government  or  its  policies.   However,  criticism  of 
individual  ministries  or  agencies  of  government  and  officials 
does  appear  from  time  to  time.   The  government  press  also  has 
criticized  severely  the  continued  existence  of  political 
groups  loyal  to  leaders  who  rallied  to  the  Government  in  1986 
and  1987. 

The  Government's  treatment  of  foreign  correspondents  has  been 
uneven.   At  times  the  foreign  press  was  given  free  access  to 
officials  and,  despite  the  conflict,  correspondents  were 
allowed  to  file  their  stories  with  no  prior  censorship.   At 
other  times,  foreign  correspondents  were  denied  visas  for 


61 


CHAD 

entry  into  Chad  or  expelled  from  the  country  for  no  apparent 
reason  and,  on  a  few  occasions,  have  had  to  submit  their 
stories  for  government  approval. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Freedom  of  assembly  and  association  is  restricted.   Chadians 
may  assemble  peacefully  only  as  long  as  the  purpose  of  the 
meeting  is  not  opposed  to  government  policies.   Membership  in 
UNIR  is  voluntary.   Although  President  Habre  is  intent  on 
having  a  single  mass  political  movement  to  which  all  Chadians 
will  belong,  he  refrained  in  1987  from  forcing  the  dissolution 
of  a  number  of  former  opposition  political  groupings,  such  as 
those  associated  with  southern  factions. 

Chad's  labor  laws  provide  for  freedom  of  association  for 
workers,  for  confederation  of  unions,  and  for  the  right  of 
labor  to  bargain  collectively.   The  right  to  strike  exists 
only  after  arbitration  at  three  levels  in  two  ministries 
(labor  and  justice)  fails.   There  are  two  labor  union 
confederations  in  Chad,  both  of  which  are  only  marginally 
effective  and  are  in  large  part  constrained  by  the  Government. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Chad  is  officially  a  secular  state.   Islam,  Christianity,  and 
other  religions  are  practiced  freely.   Both  Islamic  and 
Christian  holidays  are  given  official  status.   More  than  50 
percent  of  Chad's  population  is  Muslim,  and  Chad  is  a  member 
of  the  Organization  of  Islamic  Conferences.   Christian 
missionaries  may,  nevertheless,  enter  the  country, 
proselytize,  and  provide  assistance  to  local  populations. 
They  are  particularly  active  in  the  South.   Strictly  religious 
publications  are  allowed  to  circulate  freely.   The  Government 
neither  favors  nor  disfavors  members  of  particular  religions. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Chadians  enjoy  complete  freedom  to  move  around  the  country 
except  within  military  zones  or  areas  of  recent  or  potential 
combat.   These  restrictions  generally  pertain  only  to  the 
northern  one-third  of  the  country  and  are  not  enforced  for  the 
sparse  population  of  that  large  desert  region.   In  the  North, 
the  retreating  Libyans  left  thousands  of  landmines  under  the 
sand,  which  have  claimed  some  civilian  victims.   International 
travel  is  permitted,  but  regular  passports  are  expensive 
(about  $60),  and  travelers  must  be  cleared  by  Chad's  internal 
security  services,  a  process  which  normally  takes  less  than  1 
week.   Chadians  are  free  to  emigrate. 

In  previous  years,  many  Chadians  fled  to  neighboring  countries 
because  of  drought  and  civil  strife.   As  conditions  improved 
in  1986,  thousands  of  these  displaced  Chadians  returned  from 
the  Central  African  Republic,  Sudan,  Cameroon,  Niger,  and 
Nigeria.   Despite  Chad's  limited  material  means,  these 
repatriates,  as  well  as  those  Chadians  who  fled  the  occupied 
northern  zone,  have  generally  been  well  received. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  present  political  system  does  not  provide  for  democratic 
change  of  government.   Chad  has  been  in  a  state  of  civil 
strife  since  1965,  with  various  factions  and  as  many  as 


62 


CHAD 

11  factional  armies  contending  at  times  for  control  of  the 
country.   Since  June  1982,  Chad  has  been  governed  by  President 
Habre,  who  heads  a  French-style  Council  of  Ministers 
complemented  by  an  appointed  National  Consultative  Council 
(protolegislature) .   Both  councils  are  carefully  balanced  to 
promote  ethnic  and  regional  harmony.   The  source  of  President 
Habre' s  authority  is  the  allegiance  he  commands  from  the  armed 
forces,  the  security  services,  and  the  country's  only 
authorized  political  movement,  the  National  Union  for 
Independence  and  Revolution  (UNIR) .   UNIR's  bylaws  mandate  the 
popular  election  of  lower-level  officials,  but  no  elections 
have  been  scheduled.   In  some  areas,  traditional  leaders 
(e.g.,  cantonal  or  village  chiefs)  are  popularly  elected  or 
chosen  by  the  subordinate  members  of  the  traditional  hierarchy 
(village  chiefs  or  family  heads,  for  example). 

Habre's  success  on  the  battlefield  has  been  concomitant  with 
efforts  at  national  reconciliation  on  the  political  front. 
The  "Libreville  accords,"  signed  in  late  1985  in  Gabon  by  the 
Government  and  the  rallying  opposition  parties,  provide  for 
the  drafting  of  a  new  constitution  by  the  National 
Consultative  Council,  to  be  voted  on  by  referendum  within  4 
years.   The  new  constitution  is  to  provide  a  time  frame  for 
free  elections. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  has  carried  on  a  "dialog"  with  Amnesty 
International  and  permitted  Amnesty  to  send  a  mission  to  Chad 
in  1985  to  discuss  human  rights,  including  the  status  and 
conditions  of  prisoners  of  war,  which  the  Government  maintains 
are  held  in  recognized  detention  centers.   However,  it  did  not 
respond  to  several  Amnesty  International  requests  for 
information,  including  a  request  in  1986  for  details  on 
alleged  human  rights  abuses  committed  by  Libyan  troops  in 
northern  Chad. 

Chad  has  no  internal  human  rights  organizations,  either 
official  or  nongovernmental.  Chad  ratified  the  African 
Charter  on  Human  and  Peoples'  Rights  in  July  1986. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

There  are  some  200  ethnic  groups  in  Chad.   The  population  can 
be  divided  roughly  between  Saharan  and  Arab  Muslims  in  the 
northern  and  eastern  regions,  and  Bantu-speaking  peoples  in 
the  south.   The  latter  group  includes  both  those  who  have 
retained  traditional  animistic  practices  and  those  who  have 
adopted  Christianity.   Over  22  years  of  conflict  have 
transformed  the  complexity  of  ethnic  divisions  beyond  simple 
north-south  formulations.   In  an  effort  to  build  a  national 
government.  President  Habre  has  expanded  ethnic  and  geographic 
representation  by  appointing  ministers,  deputy  ministers,  and 
administrators  from  all  parts  of  the  country. 

Officially,  Chadian  women  enjoy  full  political  equality.  In 
practice,  neither  Chadian  traditional  law  nor  the  inherited 
French  code  fully  protects  women's  rights.  Women  contribute 
the  bulk  of  labor  in  virtually  all  aspects  of  farming.  They 
also  engage  in  commerce  ranging  from  simple  market  stalls  to 
the  ownership  of  some  larger  businesses.  The  titular  members 
of  agricultural  cooperatives  still  tend  to  be  men.   Women 


63 


CHAD 

serve  voluntarily  in  the  armed  forces,  although  they  are 
excluded  from  officer  training  programs.   In  1984  a  Ministry 
of  Social  and  Women's  Affairs  was  created  and  has  since  been 
headed  by  a  woman.   Only  1  of  the  15  members  of  the  Executive 
Bureau  of  UNIR's  Central  Committee  is  a  woman.   UNIR  has  a 
fairly  active  women's  organization.   Many  women,  especially 
war  widows  and  their  children,  have  inadequate  means  of 
support . 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

The  minimum  age  for  employment  is  14.   Many  exceptions  abound, 
however,  as  Chad  is  predominantly  a  labor-intensive  agrarian 
society,  with  95  percent  of  the  population  engaged  in 
subsistence  agriculture.   The  statutory  minimum  wage  for  wage 
labor  is  approximately  $25  per  month.   Given  the  Government's 
budgetary  shortfall,  civil  servants  below  the  executive  level 
receive  only  60  percent  of  their  salaries  on  the  scale 
established  in  1977.   Nonagricultural  work  is  limited  to  48 
hours  per  week  with  overtime  to  be  paid  for  any  excess. 
Agricultural  work  is  supposedly  limited  to  2,400  hours  per 
year.   All  workers  must  have  at  least  24  consecutive  hours  of 
rest  each  week,  usually  on  Sunday.   Occupational  health  and 
safety  standards  are  established  by  law  and  ministerial  decree 
but,  as  with  most  social  legislation,  enforcement  is  weak. 


64 


COMOROS 


The  Federal  Islamic  Republic  of  the  Comoros  is  an  archipelago 
comprising  four  islands  in  the  Mozambique  Channel.   Comoros 
unilaterally  declared  its  independence  from  France  in  1975. 
The  first  President,  Ahmed  Abdallah  Abderemane,  was  overthrown 
almost  immediately  but  regained  power  in  1978  when  mercenaries 
ousted  the  increasingly  repressive  and  xenophobic  regime  of 
Ali  Soilih.   Running  unopposed,  Abdallah  was  reelected  in 
1984.   In  recent  years,  constitutional  amendments  have 
strengthened  the  President's  position,  notably  in  the 
appointment  of  governors  and  in  the  establishment  of  a  single 
legal  political  instrument,  the  United  Progress  Party  (UPP) . 
Traditional  social  and  economic  institutions  still  influence 
the  country's  political  development.   Village  notables  and 
religious  leaders  dominate  local  politics. 

A  mercenary  force  of  about  50  expatriates  continues  to  train 
and  lead  the  Presidential  Guard,  the  best  equipped  security 
force  in  the  islands.   French  technical  assistance  is  provided 
to  the  small  Comorian  armed  forces  and  the  Gendarmerie.   Each 
island  also  has  a  small  local  police  force.   There  was  an 
unsuccessful  coup  in  March  1985  by  two  dozen  Comorian 
soldiers,  who  allegedly  planned  to  kill  the  mercenaries  and 
members  of  the  Government. 

Agriculture  dominates  economic  activity,  but  with  a  population 
of  450,000  likely  to  double  by  the  year  2000,  Comoros  is 
rapidly  approaching  full  utilization  of  arable  land.   Revenues 
from  the  export  of  vanilla,  essence  of  ylang-ylang,  cloves, 
and  copra  cover  only  a  portion  of  necessary  imports.   There 
are  no  industries,  port  facilities  are  inadequate,  and  the 
highway  and  communications  infrastructure  is  limited.   Three 
major  families,  of  which  the  President's  is  one,  control  a 
large  share  of  the  import-export  business.   Comoros  is  part  of 
the  French  franc  monetary  zone.   Government  expenses  far 
exceed  revenues,  and  the  country  depends  heavily  on  France  for 
budgetary  support  and  technical  assistance. 

The  human  rights  situation  changed  little  in  1987.   The 
Abdallah  Government  remained  firmly  in  control  and  increased 
its  hold  on  the  National  Assembly,  with  the  UPP  winning  41  of 
42  seats  (1  is  still  to  be  contested)  in  March  elections. 
Observers  of  those  March  elections  reported  that  progovernment 
candidates  benefited  from  large-scale  manipulation  of  votes, 
particularly  on  Grand  Comore  island.   On  November  30,  there 
was  an  attempted  coup  by  a  group  of  dissidents,  including 
former  members  of  the  Presidential  Guard  and  several  persons 
connected  with  the  1985  coup  attempt.   At  least  three 
Comorians  were  killed.   About  50  persons  were  arrested  by  the 
Presidential  Guard.   There  was  no  evidence  in  1987  of  Islamic 
fundamentalist  opposition,  which  allegedly  flared  briefly  in 
1986  in  the  form  of  student  unrest. 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  political  killing  in  1987. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  disappearance  in  1987. 


65 


COMOROS 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Reports  that  mercenaries  tortured  some  alleged  coup 
conspirators  were  investigated  by  several  human  rights  groups 
in  1985  and  in  1986.   According  to  its  1987  Report,  Amnesty- 
International  (AT)  sent  a  mission  to  Comoros  in  August  1986 
and,  inter  alia,  raised  with  the  Government  the  authorities' 
failure  to  investigate  reports  of  ill-treatment  of  coup 
detainees.   The  mission  also  criticized  the  use  of 
incommunicado  detention  and  solitary  confinement,  citing  in 
particular  the  case  of  Moustoifa  Said  Cheikh,  the  leader  of 
the  outlawed  Comorian  Democratic  Front  (FDC)  who  was  sentenced 
to  life  imprisonment  in  1985.   There  were  reports  of  torture 
of  at  least  three  victims  of  the  November  1987  coup. 

For  most  prisoners,  penal  discipline  is  lax.   Prisoners  are 
usually  released  daily  for  prayers  and  work,  and  families 
provide  their  meals.   Conditions,  although  still  Spartan, 
improved  as  the  prison  population  declined. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Current  legal  procedures  and  practices  permit  the  Government 
to  arrest  and  detain  persons  almost  without  restriction, 
especially  in  security  cases.   There  are  periodic  reports  that 
suspected  dissidents  are  detained,  roughed  up,  and  subsequently 
released.   The  Government  used  house  arrests  during  the  1987 
elections,  ordering  at  least  200  opposition  activists  under 
house  arrest  before  polling  began  on  March  22. 

About  20  officials  of  the  Ali  Soilih  regime,  held  without 
trial  from  1978  to  1980,  were  released  prior  to  1985.   The 
March  1985  attempt  to  murder  the  mercenaries  and  certain 
senior  members  of  the  Abdallah  regime  led  to  the  interrogation 
of  hundreds  of  suspects,  the  arrest  of  about  200  persons,  and 
the  extended  detention  incommunicado  of  about  80,  many  of  them 
members  or  sympathizers  of  the  FDC.   The  Government  arrested 
an  additional  30  soldiers  at  the  end  of  1985,  allegedly  for 
planning  a  second  coup.   Most  of  those  detained  or  tried  in 
1985  and  1986  were  released  in  1986  and  1987,  but  some 
additional  arrests  connected  to  the  investigation  of  the  coup 
attempt  reportedly  occurred  in  1987.   Members  of  the 
Presidential  Guard  reportedly  participated  in  the  arrests  of 
about  50  persons  suspected  of  involvement  in  the  November  1987 
coup  attempt. 

There  is  no  indication  of  forced  or  compulsory  labor. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  Constitution  provides  for  the  equality  of  all  citizens 
before  the  law  and  the  right  of  all  accused  to  defense  counsel. 
The  Comorian  legal  system  applies  Islamic  law  and  an  inherited 
French  legal  code.   French  and  Comorian  experts  are  drafting  a 
new  consolidated  legal  code.   Most  disputes  are  settled  by 
village  elders  or  by  a  civil  court  of  first  instance.   In 
regular  civil  and  criminal  cases,  the  judiciary  is  independent 
and  trials  are  public. 

However,  the  President  has  appointive  and  other  judicial 
powers.   In  this  connection,  Abdallah  ordered  the 
establishment  of  a  special  court  of  appointed  members  to  try 
the  alleged  coup  conspirators,  based  on  a  1960  decree  as 
amended  in  October  1985.   The  November  1985  and  July  1986 


66 


COMOROS 

trials  commanded  considerable  attention,  including  that  of 
international  human  rights  organizations  which  protested  the 
lengthy  procedural  delays  and  the  brevity  of  the  trials.   In 
its  1987  Report,  AI  stated  that  the  two  trials  failed  to 
satisfy  internationally  recognized  standards  of  fair  trial  and 
noted  that  some  defendants  were  convicted  on  the  basis  of 
statements  made  under  duress  while  in  incommunicado  detention. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  Constitution  provides  for  the  inviolability  of  home  and 
property.   There  were  no  known  cases  of  arbitrary  interference 
with  privacy  in  1987. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of  expression,  of 
thought,  and  of  conscience,  but  Comorians  discuss  and 
criticize  the  Government  and  its  leading  personalities  only  in 
private. 

The  local  news  media  consist  solely  of  the  government- 
controlled  radio  station  and  the  bimonthly  newspaper,  which 
are  careful  not  to  criticize  the  Government  when  covering 
domestic  events.   However,  the  Paris-based  Indian  Ocean 
Newsletter,  which  is  often  critical  of  the  Comoros,  and  the 
Comorian  Letter,  which  is  published  by  members  of  the  Comorian 
opposition  in  Paris,  generally  arrive  unhindered  through  the 
international  mail.   Other  foreign  journals  and  newspapers  are 
available,  as  are  books  from  abroad. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  Constitution  states  that  freedom  of  association  is 
guaranteed.   In  practice,  this  right  is  partially 
circumscribed  since  the  only  legal  political  activity  must 
take  place  within  the  framework  of  the  United  Progress  Party. 
On  July  1,  1987,  a  number  of  Comorians  opposed  to  the  idea  of 
a  possible  third  6-year  term  for  President  Ahmed  Abdallah 
staged  a  short,  peaceful  demonstration  and  dispersed  on  their 
own  without  any  violence. 

Social  occasions,  such  as  the  traditional  lavish,  extended 
weddings  and  funerals  of  prominent  Comorians,  are  used  as 
opportunities  to  discuss  political  topics. 

The  Constitution  also  makes  provision  for  the  freedom  of 
workers  to  form  unions  and  to  strike.   However,  farming  on 
small  landholdings ,  subsistence  fishing,  and  petty  commerce 
make  up  the  daily  activity  of  most  of  the  population.   Hence 
the  wage  labor  force  is  very  small,  and  unions  are  not 
effectively  organized.   Collective  bargaining  does  not  take 
place.   The  increasing  scarcity  of  jobs  is  also  a  real 
restraint  on  labor  complaints,  organizational  activities,  and 
formal  strikes.   The  Government's  inability  to  pay  wages  and 
salaries  on  schedule  sometimes  results  in  work  slowdowns, 
absenteeism,  and  informal,  peaceful  protests. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

An  overwhelming  majority  of  the  population  is  Muslim.   The 
Constitution  holds  Islam  to  be  the  "wellspring  of  the 


67 


COMOROS 

principles  and  rules  which  guide  the  State  and  its 
institutions."   However,  the  State  upholds  non-Muslims'  right 
to  practice  their  faith.   There  are  churches  for  the  small 
Protestant  and  Catholic  populations.   Christian  missionaries 
work  in  local  hospitals  and  schools,  but  they  are  not  allowed 
to  proselytize. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Movement  within  the  Comoros  and  travel  abroad  for  citizens  and 
foreigners  is  not  restricted.   Members  of  the  Comorian 
community  abroad,  concentrated  in  France,  oppose  the 
Government,   but  in  1987  there  was  no  evidence  that  those 
returning  to  the  Comoros  were  subjected  to  government 
reprisals . 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  right  of  citizens  to  change  their  Government  does  not 
exist.   The  restoration  of  President  Abdallah  in  1978 
introduced  an  era  of  strong  authoritarian  leadership. 
Abdallah  remained  in  1987  the  single  most  important  factor  in 
Comorian  politics.   He  commands  the  personal  loyalty  of  the 
Presidential  Guard,  and  his  position  is  buttressed  both  by 
tradition  and  by  his  own  personal  wealth. 

Elections  for  the  42-seat  National  Assembly  on  March  22,  1987, 
were  marked  by  widespread  fraud.   On  Anjouan,  the  President's 
home  island,  and  Moheli,  Abdallah  declared  ineligible  all  the 
opposition  candidates.   On  election  day,  the  Government  ordered 
at  least  200  opposition  activists  under  house  arrest  before 
polling  began.   Opposition  candidates  charge  that  Presidential 
Guard  members  intimidated  voters  in  one  district  on  Grande 
Comore.   There  were  reliable  reports  that  the  Government 
rewrote  ballots  in  order  to  change  the  outcome  in  instances 
when  opposition  candidates  received  a  majority  of  the  votes, 
and  to  enhance  the  victories  of  government  candidates. 

Comoros  has  claimed  sovereignty  over  the  island  of  Mayotte, 
which  is  under  French  control.  The  French  have  postponed 
indefinitely  a  new  referendum  on  the  status  of  Mayotte.  In 
1977,  96  percent  of  the  voters  in  Mayotte  opted  in  favor  of 
remaining  with  France.  The  Comorian  Government  has  alleged 
electoral  coercion  in  the  1977  vote  and  has  pressed  France  to 
acknowledge  Comorian  sovereignty  without  a  plebiscite. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  has  been  critical  of  some  aspects  of  AI ' s  work, 
but  has  cooperated  with  the  organization  as  recently  as  1986, 
when  AI  delegates  met  with  a  wide  range  of  judicial  and 
military  officials,  including  the  Minister  of  Justice.   They 
were  not,  however,  permitted  to  speak  with  the  four  "prisoners 
of  conscience"  AI  had  adopted  and  were  not  given  access  to  the 
records  of  the  November  1985  and  July  1986  trials. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  constitutional  deference  to  Islam  formalizes  the  deeply 
held  commitment  of  most  Comorians  to  an  Islam.ic  world  view. 


68 


COMOROS 

The  society  respects  authority  based  on  inheritance,  age, 
wealth,  and  religious  leadership. 

The  Constitution  formally  provides  for  the  equality  of 
citizens  regardless  of  race,  sex,  or  religion.   Women  have  the 
right  to  vote  and  to  participate,  in  theory,  in  the  political 
process  as  candidates.   Women  are  neither  veiled  nor  limited, 
in  terms  of  employment,  to  minor  civil  service  posts.   Change 
in  the  status  of  women  is  most  evident  in  the  major  towns. 
Nevertheless,  within  Comorian  society,  men  have  a  dominant 
role.   At  traditional  ceremonies  and  social  gatherings,  the 
sexes  are  separated.   The  opinions  of  husbands  and  fathers 
exercise  a  formidable  influence  over  women's  voting  habits. 
In  politics,  tradition  has  also  been  a  powerful  force  in 
discouraging  women  from  direct  participation. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Most  of  Comoros'  inhabitants  make  their  living  from 
subsistence  agriculture  and  fishing.   There  is  no 
industrialization  or  factory  activity.   Jobs  in  the  small 
modern  economy  are  scarce,  and  accordingly  wages  are  low. 
There  is  no  minimum  wage,  age  of  employment,  or  code 
specifying  formal  standards  of  occupational  safety  and 
health.   However,  the  hours  of  work  in  any  category  rarely 
exceed  35  hours  per  week,  and  child  labor  is  not  an  issue  due 
to  the  lack  of  employment  opportunities  for  adolescent  and 
young  adults.   Young  children  do  work  in  family  units  in  the 
large  subsistence  section. 


69 


CONGO 


The  People's  Republic  of  the  Congo  is  officially  a 
Marxist-Leninist  state  governed  by  an  elite  group  of  party, 
cabinet,  and  military  officials  through  the  single  legal 
party,  the  Congolese  Labor  Party  (PCT) .   In  addition  to 
serving  as  President  of  the  Republic  and  Head  of  Government, 
Denis  Sassou-Nguesso  is  also  head  of  the  party.   The  President 
nominates  the  10-member  Political  Bureau,  the  key  policymaking 
group,  which  is  approved  by  the  75-member  Central  Committee. 
Within  the  Central  Committee,  members  from  the  northern  regions 
of  the  country  are  in  the  majority  and  hold  the  balance  of 
power  even  though  they  represent  a  minority  of  the  population. 
The  military  and  security  services  are  also  firmly  under  the 
control  of  the  northerners,  and  they  ultimately  are  the 
arbiters  of  power  in  the  Congo.   The  need  to  maintain  consensus 
among  the  political  leaders  representing  traditionally 
conflicting  areas  provides  a  check  on  arbitrary  policies. 

The  security  apparatus,  which  is  under  the  direction  of  the 
presidency,  is  headed  by  the  State  Security  Organization 
(DSGE)  and  is  patterned  after  those  in  Eastern  Europe.   Its 
principal  objective  is  to  protect  the  State  against  possible 
dissident  activity.   There  are  also  party  core  groups  in  all 
ministries,  labor  organizations,  mass  organizations,  and  urban 
districts  which  monitor  the  activities  of  coworkers  and 
neighbors.   In  addition  to  the  DGSE,  there  are  the  regular 
police  forces  whose  discipline  is  generally  improving  with 
continuing  Eastern  European  and  Cuban  training. 

The  Congolese  economy  is  highly  dependent  on  oil,  which  in 
past  years  has  accounted  for  over  90  percent  of  exports.   In 
1982  the  Congo  began  to  implement  an  ambitious  5-year 
investment  plan,  concentrated  heavily  on  inf rastructural 
development,  but  by  1985  sharp  reductions  in  oil  revenues 
forced  the  Government  to  cut  its  budget  in  half  and  in  1986  to 
accept  an  International  Monetary  Fund  (IMF)  adjustment  program. 
In  1987  the  World  Bank  approved  two  loans  totaling  $85.2 
million  for  a  structural  adjustment  program  and  a  short-term 
advisory  program  to  study  reforms  in  public  enterprises. 

The  human  rights  situation  in  the  Congo  changed  little  in 
1987.   While  not  politically  free,  most  Congolese  live  their 
daily  lives  with  a  minimum  of  government  and  police 
interference.   In  July  there  was  a  reported  coup  attempt 
against  the  Government.   Subsequently,  the  Government  arrested 
six  persons,  including  four  members  of  the  military  forces, 
and  was  continuing  its  special  investigation.   In  August  a 
former  army  captain,  who  reportedly  was  a  participant  in  the 
July  attempt,  and  a  few  supporters  with  alleged  ties  to  former 
President  Yhombi,  engaged  government  forces  in  battle  in  the 
northern  town  of  Owando,  at  the  reported  cost  of  five  dead  and 
several  injured.   The  captain  remained  at  large  at  the  end  of 
1987,  but  the  Government  had  detained  Yhombi  and  moved  him 
from  Owando,  his  home  town,  to  Brazzaville,  claiming  that 
Yhombi  had  voluntarily  "placed  himself  at  the  disposition  of 
the  judicial  system."   Amnesty  International  (AI)  had  reports 
that  11  military  officers  had  been  arrested  following  the  July 
incident  and  that  one,  Lt .  Col.  Henri  Eboundit,  had  been 
tortured  and  was  in  ill-health.   The  Government  denied  that 
Eboundit  had  been  tortured  or  was  in  ill  health. 


70 


CONGO 


RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 


Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reported  cases  of  killing  for  political  motives. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reported  cases  of  disappearance  for  political 
motives . 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  practice  of  beating  suspects  at  police  and  at  state 
security  centers  in  the  course  of  interrogations  is  not 
uncommon.   Neither  is  it  uncommon  for  the  public  or  the  police 
to  beat  thieves  who  have  been  caught  in  the  act  of  stealing. 

Political  prisoners  are  held  incommunicado,  and  it  is 
reasonable  to  assume  that  torture  is  used  to  extract 
information  desired  by  the  police  that  is  not  freely  given. 
However,  several  political  prisoners  held  incommuncado  in  the 
past  have  been  freed  and  are  now  leading  normal  lives  with  no 
apparent  ill  effects.   Some  have  managed  to  regain  their 
earlier  status  and  are  serving  as  government  ministers.   AI, 
in  its  1987  Report  and  in  1987  statements,  expressed  concern 
over  reports  of  torture,  including  the  case  of  Lt .  Col. 
Eboundit . 

Prison  conditions  in  general  are  poor,  and  there  is  a  lack  of 
adeguate  food,  hygiene,  and  medical  care.   Both  detainees  and 
prisoners  may  be  visited  by  family  or  friends  who  bear  the 
responsibility  for  providing  food  and  medicines. 

d.  Arbitary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

While  the  Constitution  provides  protection  against  arbitrary 
indictment,  arrest,  and  detention,  in  practice  a  warrant  is 
not  required  to  make  arrests.   There  is  a  legal  requirement 
that  a  detainee  be  brought  before  an  investigating  judge  within 
3  days  of  arrest.   The  judge  may  then  order  detention  for  a 
maximum  period  of  6  months,  after  which  the  detainee  must  be 
charged  or  released.   However,  this  law  does  not  apply  in 
cases  involving  the  security  of  the  State,  and  some  political 
detainees  have  been  held  for  lengthy  periods  without  being 
brought  before  a  judge  or  charged.   The  trial  of  those  accused 
of  having  participated  in  the  1982  bombings  in  Brazzaville  did 
not  take  place  until  1986,  and  some  of  the  accused  were  held 
incommunicado  for  several  years. 

Despite  the  Government's  steps  to  increase  the  number  of 
magistrates  and  to  improve  procedures,  the  administrative 
processing  of  regular  cases  is  slow,  and  persons  awaiting 
trial  are  often  detained  for  considerable  periods.   Detained 
persons  are  entitled  to  an  attorney.   All  lawyers  are  under 
the  general  authority  of  the  Government.   In  criminal  cases, 
defense  lawyers  are  provided  by  the  Government  for  those 
without  funds. 


71 


CONGO 

Whether  a  detainee  is  formally  charged  usually  depends  upon 
the  seriousness  of  the  crime  and  the  economic  situation  of  the 
family.   For  lesser  crimes,  the  person  is  usually  taken  to 
jail,  where  he  may  be  beaten  and  held  for  a  few  days,  then 
released  on  bail  pending  a  trial  which  may  or  may  not  ever 
take  place.   A  person  accused  of  a  serious  crime  (e.g.,  murder, 
rape)  is  held  in  prison  until  the  trial,  which  may  be  months 
or  even  years  later. 

At  the  end  of  1987,  the  number  of  political  detainees  or 
prisoners  was  unknown.   The  Government  officially  acknowledged 
the  arrest  of  four  military  men  and  two  civilians  for  alleged 
participation  in  the  1987  coup  attempts.   Col.  Jean  Michel 
Ebaka  and  Lt .  Col.  Eboundit  are  the  ranking  military  officers 
under  detention  (house  arrest,  according  to  the  Government). 
Ex-President  Yhombi  was  also  being  held  under  "protective 
custody."   Prior  to  his  state  visit  to  France  in  1987, 
President  Sassou  granted  a  pardon  to  a  French  national,  Claude 
Buisson,  who  had  been  sentenced  to  7  years'  hard  labor  in  the 
August  1986  bombing  trial. 

There  is  no  known  forced  labor  in  the  Congo. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  legal  system  in  not  insulated  from  political  interference. 
The  Constitution  provides  for  a  Supreme  Court  which  is  in 
practice  an  arm  of  the  executive  rather  than  an  independent 
body.   The  amended  Constitution  also  provides  for 
nonprofessional  judges  to  be  elected  to  all  courts  below  the 
Supreme  Court.   The  stated  purpose  of  this  change  was  to 
"popularize  justice,"  i.e.,  provide  a  role  for  peers  to 
influence  the  formal  judicial  process. 

According  to  the  law,  any  Congolese  citizen  may  now  become  a 
judge  but  can  adjudicate  cases  only  in  collaboration  with 
trained  judges.   Each  nomination  must  be  approved  by  the 
party.   By  law,  the  right  to  a  fair  and  public  trial  exists  in 
all  cases,  and  the  judicial  process  is  relatively  fair  and 
open  for  those  accused  of  common  crimes.   Also,  it  is  not 
uncommon  to  have  a  higher  court  reverse  lower  court  decisions 
in  nonpolitical  cases. 

Political  cases  are  tried  by  a  special  court,  the 
Revolutionary  Court  of  Justice.   In  its  1987  Report,  AI 
expressed  its  concern  that  the  August  1986  trial  of  10  persons, 
who  were  convicted  of  causing  bomb  explosions  in  Brazzaville 
in  March  and  July  1982,  had  not  met  international  standards  of 
fairness  for  several  reasons,  e.g.,  several  judges  were  members 
of  the  PCT  Central  Committee  and  had  been  involved  in  the  case 
at  an  earlier  stage. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

There  is  little  interference  by  the  Government  with  privacy, 
family,  home,  or  correspondence.  Citizens  are  not  forced  to 
participate  in  the  party  or  its  organs.  In  general,  so  long 
as  a  person  does  not  engage  in  any  activity  which  involves  or 
implies  opposition  to  the  Government,  he  is  not  oppressed  or 
harassed. 


72 


CONGO 
Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Freedom  of  speech  and  press  are  restricted,  despite  guarantees 
in  the  Constitution.   The  State  owns  and  controls  the  media 
except  for  one  weekly  religious  newspaper.   The  Government 
allows  some  criticism  of  its  policies  and  programs  judged  not 
to  be  politically  sensitive,  but  it  does  not  allow  its  ultimate 
authority  to  be  challenged  publicly.   Journalists  may  raise 
issues  and  concerns  only  within  general  guidelines  laid  down 
by  the  Government  and  the  party.   The  Government  and  party  are 
selective  in  the  kinds  of  news  and  information  they  permit 
Congolese  journalists  to  publish  from  various  outside  sources 
of  information.   Television  viewers  have  access  to  Zairian 
media  programs.   A  state  censorship  board  reviews  the  content 
of  newspapers,  movies,  books,  and  records.   Publications  are 
subject  to  censorship  if  they  contain  critical  articles. 
While  the  Government  controls  the  local  press,  foreign 
journalists  are  generally  permitted  to  travel  freely  once  an 
entry  visa  and  a  special  permit  for  travel  to  the  interior  are 
obtained.   These  are  usually  granted. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  right  of  peaceful  assembly  is  limited  by  the  State's 
perceived  self-interest.   Political  meetings  are  permitted 
only  for  the  party  and  its  organizations.   Government 
permission  is  not  reguired  for  groups  to  assemble  for 
religious  and  social  purposes  but  is  required  for  use  of 
official  facilities.   Government  authorization  is  also 
required  to  establish  professional  clubs  and  organizations,  of 
which  there  are  several. 

The  labor  code  adopted  in  March  1975  is  quite  liberal  in 
theory  and  provides  for  the  right  of  association.   However, 
given  its  past  active  political  role,  the  labor  movement  is 
closely  scrutinized  and  controlled  by  the  Government  and 
party.   In  practice,  the  party  controls  the  unions,  largely 
through  the  umbrella  union,  the  Congolese  Trade  Union 
Confederation  (CTUC) ,  which  is  an  appendage  of  the  party.   The 
party  approves  the  national  leadership  of  the  CTUC.   No  group 
is  allowed  to  form  an  independent,  alternative  union  outside 
the  party,  which  led  to  a  complaint  to  the  International  Labor 
Organization  (ILO)  that  the  Congo  was  not  observing  the 
Convention  on  Freedom  of  Association.   The  CTUC  is  represented 
in  every  ministry  and  state-owned  enterprise  and  serves  on 
mandatory  boards  which  include  a  union  representative  along 
with  a  member  of  the  Government  and  the  party.   Known  as  the 
"determinant  trilogy,"  this  structure  is  responsible  for 
ensuring  that  the  three  major  points  of  view  are  represented 
in  the  decisionmaking  process  and  serves  as  the  Congo's  form 
of  collective  bargaining.   The  CTUC  unions  are  prohibited  from 
striking,  although  wildcat  strikes  do  occur  with  relative 
impunity.   The  local  unions  within  the  Confederation  have  been 
able  in  some  instances  to  persuade  the  Government  to  provide 
workers  with  increased  benefits.   As  long  as  political  subjects 
are  avoided,  there  is  also  a  certain  degree  of  democratic 
dialogue  within  the  labor  movement  and  with  the  Government. 
The  CTUC  maintains  relations  with  recognized  international 
organizations  such  as  the  ILO. 


73 

CONGO 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Freedom  of  religion  is  guaranteed  by  law.   In  practice,  party 
members  are  prohibited  from  practicing  any  religion.   Religious 
organizations,  such  as  the  Salvation  Army,  must  obtain  the 
Government's  permisson  to  work  in  the  Congo.   Jehovah's 
Witnesses,  for  example,  are  not  permitted  in  the  Congo, 
allegedly  because  Witnesses  do  not  recognize  the  authority  of 
the  State.   With  these  exceptions,  the  party  does  not  normally 
interfere  in  religious  affairs.   The  Catholic  Church,  the 
largest  religious  coiununity,  maintains  a  seminary  for  the 
training  of  its  clergy  and  has  missions  throughout  the  country. 
Masses  are  held  in  the  various  local  languages  as  well  as  in 
French.   The  Catholic  Church  publishes  the  only  independent 
newspaper.  La  Semaine  Africaine.   Catholic  and  other 
missionaries  are  active  in  running  private  missions  and 
clinics  and  provide  other  social  services.   While  some  of 
these  services  are  joint  ventures  between  church  and 
government,  many  of  the  services  formerly  provided  by  churches 
have  been  abolished.   The  Government  is  officially  atheist. 
Christmas  Day  is  called  Children's  Day. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

The  Government  exercises  limited  control  over  the  internal 
movement  of  its  citizens  through  identification  card  checks. 
There  are  control  points  outside  all  major  towns  manned  by 
soldiers  who  vigorously  check  identification  documents. 
Congolese  citizens  who  wish  to  travel  abroad  require  exit 
authorization  from  the  DSGE.   For  most  citizens  this  is  a 
fairly  routine  process.   However,  those  who  are  suspected  of 
traveling  for  political  motives  encounter  obstacles  in 
obtaining  such  authorization.   Government  employees  traveling 
abroad  must  obtain  permission  from  the  appropriate  government 
office.   Passports  must  be  returned  to  the  Office  of  State 
Security  after  the  traveler's  return  from  abroad. 

The  Government  exercises  tight  control  over  travel  by 
foreigners  in  the  Congo.   Most  visas  are  for  one  entry  only, 
exit  visas  are  required  for  nondiplomats ,  and  those  desiring 
to  travel  into  the  interior  must  obtain  permission  from  the 
appropriate  ministry.   There  are  no  known  instances  of 
Congolese  being  refused  the  right  to  return  to  their  country. 
Citizenship  may  be  lost  under  conditions  established  in  the 
nationality  code.   For  example,  citizenship  may  be  lost  by 
taking  citizenship  in  another  country  or  for  conviction  for 
espionage.   There  are  no  known  cases  of  a  native-born 
Congolese  being  denied  citizenship. 

The  Congo  is  the  home  of  about  3,400  exiles  and  refugees, 
mostly  from  surrounding  central  African  states.   While  refugees 
are  subject  to  surveillance  and  occasional  harassment  by  the 
Congolese  Government,  there  were  no  cases  of  forcible 
repatriation  in  1987.   The  Congo  is  a  party  to  the  U.N. 
Convention  and  Protocol  Relating  to  the  Status  of  Refugees, 
and  a  representative  of  the  United  Nations  High  Commissioner 
for  Refugees  is  resident  in  Brazzaville. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of 
Citizens  to  Change  Their  Government 

While  the  President  is  the  most  powerful  single  person  in  the 
Government,  his  authority  is  limited  by  his  need  to  maintain  a 
consensus  in  the  Political  Bureau  of  the  party.   The  balance 


74 


CONGO 

of  power  in  the  Political  Bureau  and  in  the  larger  Central 
Committee  is  held  by  northerners  to  the  detriment  of  the  far 
more  numerous  southerners.   Military  officers  occupy  key 
positions  among  the  ruling  group  and  help  ensure  its 
continuation  in  power. 

The  Congolese  people  do  not  have  the  right  to  change  their 
government  through  democratic  processes.   Opportunities  for 
political  involvement  by  Congolese  citizens  are  limited  to  the 
Marxist-Leninist  Congolese  Labor  Party,  including  its  mass 
organizations,  and  to  participation  in  the  national,  regional, 
and  local  assemblies.   The  Congolese  Labor  Party  (PCT)  is  the 
supreme  organ  of  state.   No  other  political  parties  are 
permitted  to  operate.   PCT  membership,  which  numbers 
approximately  8,700  out  of  a  total  population  of  almost  2 
million,  is  highly  controlled,  and  membership  is  awarded  on 
the  basis  of  loyalty  and  political  performance. 

The  powers  of  the  National  Assembly  are  limited.   The 
national,  regional,  and  local  assemblies  are  "elected"  from 
single-party  approved  lists,  which  present  only  one  candidate. 
The  selection  process  can  involve  a  certain  amount  of 
negotiation,  and  incumbents  have  been  turned  out  of  office  in 
the  process.   Representatives  of  the  National  Assembly  are 
chosen  from  a  broad  spectrum  of  the  population,  including 
traditional  leaders,  small  farmers,  and  workers.   The  National 
Assembly  has  some  impact  on  social  and  economic  issues,  and 
regional  and  local  assemblies  may  discuss  issues  before  the 
decisions  are  made  at  the  national  level. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

There  are  no  human  rights  organizations  in  the  Congo.   The 
Government  permitted  AI  to  send  an  observer  to  the  1986 
bombing  trial. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Under  the  Constitution  there  is  no  official  discrimination 
based  on  race,  sex,  religion,  language,  or  social  status.   As 
noted,  northerners  carry  disproportionate  influence  in  the 
political  and  security  organs.   Women  have  the  same  legal 
rights  as  men  in  the  private,  political,  and  social  domains. 
There  is  a  large  disparity,  however,  between  salaries  for  men 
and  women,  and  women  are  relegated  to  a  secondary  role  in  the 
modern  sectors  of  society.   In  traditional  society,  women  are 
often  the  chief  decisionmakers.   Five  women  are  members  of  the 
party's  75-member  Central  Committee. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

In  previous  years,  revenues  from  oil  production  allowed  the 
Government  to  employ  large  numbers  of  Congolese  for  various 
government  organizations,  including  state  corporations.   Owing 
to  declining  oil  revenues  and  the  need  to  comply  with  an 
IMF/V>Jorld  Bank  structural  adjustment  program,  the  Goverment 
has  abandoned  its  program  of  guaranteed  employment  for  all 
university  graduates.   It  is  in  the  process  of  privatizing 
some  state  enterprises  and  has  frozen  government  hiring.   Cash 
flow  difficulties  sometimes  cause  delays  in  meeting  the  public 
payroll . 


75 


CONGO 

Working  conditions  for  Congolese  in  the  modern  sector,  which 
employs  about  50  percent  of  the  population,  are  generally 
good.   These  include  a  minimum  working  age  of  16,  a  maximum 
40-hour  workweek,  at  least  1  day  of  rest  per  week,  family 
benefits,  and  medical  aid.   There  is  social  security,  and  the 
minimum  hourly  wage  is  $1.96  for  urban  employees.   Domestic 
workers  must  be  paid  at  least  $78  monthly.   Outside  government 
employment,  these  minimums  are  often  ignored.   There  is  a  code 
of  occupational  safety  and  health,  although  it  too  is  probably 
not  enforced.   While  many  salaried  Congolese  have  a  generally 
high  standard  of  working  conditions  and  social  benefits,  most 
of  the  rural  population  is  still  engaged  in  subsistence 
farming . 


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COTE  D" IVOIRE 


Cote  d'lvoire,  a  former  French  colony  which  gained 
independence  through  a  peaceful  transfer  of  power  in  1960,  is 
a  one-party  state  with  a  civilian  government.   Power  is 
concentrated  in  the  Democratic  Party  of  Cote  d'lvoire  (PDCI) 
and  its  long-time  leader.  President  Felix  Houphouet-Boigny, 
now  82  years  old.   Although  the  freedom  to  form  other  parties 
is  included  in  the  Constitution,  in  practice  no  other  party 
has  been  allowed  to  participate  in  the  political  process.   A 
somewhat  more  open  system  has  nonetheless  evolved  since 
competitive  elections  were  held  in  1980  for  PDCI,  municipal, 
and  legislative  positions.   Membership  in  the  party  organs, 
the  number  of  municipalities  with  elected  leadership,  and 
representation  in  the  National  Assembly  have  all  steadily 
expanded  in  the  last  27  years  to  reflect  the  growth  and 
diversity  of  the  Ivorian  population.   Basic  policies  are  set 
within  the  PDCI,  and  the  unicameral  National  Assembly  has 
never  publicly  challenged  a  policy  put  forth  by  the  party. 

The  Ministry  of  Internal  Security  includes  the  Surete  National 
and  the  Gendarmerie,  the  national  police  service,  which  is 
structured  along  French  lines.   The  Surete  has  an  arm  that  is 
responsible  for  intelligence  gathering  and  counterespionage. 
The  Gendarmerie  is  responsible  for  territorial  security, 
especially  in  the  rural  areas. 

Cote  d'lvoire  has  enjoyed  considerable  economic  development 
since  independence,  and  the  country  now  has  an  annual  per 
capita  income  of  $786  (1986).   The  Ivorian  economy  is  market 
oriented  and  open  to  foreign  investment.   During  the  1980's, 
however.  Cote  d'lvoire  has  been  squeezed  by  a  heavy  debt 
burden  and  falling  prices  for  its  exports,  principally  coffee, 
cocoa,  and  tropical  woods,  on  world  markets.   In  1987  the 
country  experienced  a  decline  in  its  gross  domestic  product 
(GDP)  for  the  first  time  since  independence.   Prices  for  coffee 
and  cocoa  decreased,  and  the  Government  was  forced  in  May  to 
suspend  payments  on  its  foreign  debt. 

The  human  rights  situation  in  Cote  d'lvoire  in  1987  remained 
generally  satisfactory.   The  President  continued  to  advocate 
"dialogue"  in  settling  disputes,  seeking  to  involve  dissenters 
in  the  operation  of  the  one-party  structure  rather  than  to 
isolate  them. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  officially  sanctioned  political 
ki 1 lings . 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  officially  sanctioned  abduction  or 
disappearance . 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  Ivorian  penal  code  prohibits  official  violence  without 
"legitimate  justification."   The  code  does  not,  however, 
specifically  mention  or  prohibit  torture  nor  does  it  define 


77 


COTE  D' IVOIRE 

what  constitutes  "legitimate  justification"  or  the  level  of 
violence  officials  may  use  if  it  is  "justified."   There  were 
no  reports  of  torture  during  1987,  nor  any  evidence  of 
systematic  cruel,  inhuman,  or  degrading  treatment  of  persons, 
including  prison  inmates.   Foreign  Africans  are  routinely 
treated  more  roughly  by  police  on  arrest  than  are  Ivorians. 
Prisoners  are  usually  allowed  visits  from  attorneys  of  their 
choice  and  from  family  members,  who  must  provide  food  to 
supplement  the  sparse  prison  diet.   Prison  conditions  are 
poor.   Sanitation  and  medical  facilities  are  minimal. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

The  Ivorian  Constitution  and  pertinent  statutes  prohibit 
arbitrary  arrest  or  imprisonment.   However,  the  Government 
occasionally  detains  persons  considered  a  threat  to  internal 
security.   It  also  takes  firm  nonviolent  measures  against  acts 
it  considers  as  threats  to  internal  security.   For  example, 
the  Government  has  used  the  threat  of  forced  conscription  to 
discourage  student  involvement  in  antigovernment  activities. 
Some  prominent  critics  of  the  Government  have  chosen  to  live 
and  write  elsewhere;  on  the  other  hand,  political  exiles  from 
a  number  of  countries  have  found  Cote  d'lvoire  a  hospitable 
safe  haven. 

Under  the  Ivorian  penal  code,  a  public  prosecutor  can  order 
the  detention  of  a  suspect  for  up  to  48  hours  without  bringing 
charges.   The  code  dictates  that  further  detention  must  be 
ordered  by  a  magistrate  who  can  authorize  additional  periods 
of  up  to  4  months,  but  who  must  also  provide  the  Minister  of 
Justice,  on  a  monthly  basis,  with  a  written  justification  for 
continued  detention.   There  have  been  reports  that  local  police 
have  held  persons  for  more  than  48  hours  in  a  few  cases,  but 
that  higher  officials  have  disciplined  police  for  these 
violations . 

In  July  1987,  the  Secondary  Teachers'  Union  Congress,  one  of 
three  unions  outside  the  government-sponsored  federation,  was 
suspended.   Thereafter  a  group  of  teachers,  supported  by  the 
Government,  ousted  the  old  leadership,  which  reportedly 
disagreed  with  government  policy.   Some  teachers  publicly 
protested  the  Government's  action  and  subsequently,  in 
September  and  October,  16  secondary  teachers  were  detained. 
In  a  civil  trial  in  December,  three  teachers  were  found  guilty 
of  embezzlement  of  union  funds,  fined,  and  sentenced  to  several 
months  each  in  prison.   Two  teachers  were  released,  and  11 
others  required  to  perform  national  military  service. 

There  have  been  no  reports  of  forced  labor  in  Cote  d'lvoire. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  modern  judicial  system  is  headed  by  a  Supreme  Court  and 
includes  a  Court  of  Appeals  and  lower  courts.   There  is 
general  agreement  that  the  judiciary  is  independent  of  the 
executive  in  practice  as  well  as  under  the  Constitution's 
separation 'of  powers  provisions.   Defendants  accused  of 
felonies  or  capital  crimes  have  the  right  to  legal  counsel, 
and  indigent  defendants  are  eligible  for  court-appointed 
attorneys.   In  practice,  however,  such  attorneys  are  not 
readily  available. 

Ivorian  law  establishes  the  right  to  a  fair  public  trial. 
This  provision  is  generally  respected  in  urban  areas.  In 
rural  areas,  justice  is  often  administered  at  the  village 


78 


COTE  D'lVOIRE 

level  through  traditional  institutions  which  largely  handle 
local  matters  such  as  domestic  disputes,  minor  land  questions, 
and  family  law.   Dispute  resolution  is  by  extended  debate, 
with  no  known  instances  of  resort  to  physical  or  similar 
punishment.   These  traditional  courts  are  increasingly 
superseded  by  the  formal  judicial  system. 

Civilians  are  not  tried  by  military  courts.   There  are  no 
appellate  courts  within  the  military  justice  system.   Persons 
convicted  by  a  military  tribunal  occasionally  request  the 
Supreme  Court  to  set  aside  the  tribunal's  verdict  and  order  a 
retrial . 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

All  Ivorian  citizens  are  considered  to  be  members  of  the 
PDCI.   Party  regulations  call  for  active  participation  in 
party  activities  and  payment  of  dues  which  are  collected  in 
most  cases  through  deductions  from  pay  checks.   Most  party 
regulations,  however,  are  not  strictly  enforced.   Ivorians  who 
choose  not  to  participate  do  not  suffer  retaliation.   It  is 
not  known  what  percentage  of  the  population  actively 
participates  in  the  party. 

The  Code  of  Penal  Procedures  specifies  that  a  police  official 
or  investigative  magistrate  may  conduct  searches  of  homes 
without  a  warrant  if  there  is  reason  to  believe  there  is 
evidence  concerning  a  crime  on  the  premises.   The  official 
must  have  the  prosecutor's  agreement  to  retain  any  objects 
seized  in  the  search.   He  is  required  to  have  witnesses  to  the 
search,  which  may  not  take  place  between  the  hours  of  9  p.m. 
and  4  a.m.   Legal  safeguards  against  arbitrary  searches 
generally  are  respected  in  urban  areas  but  are  sometimes 
ignored  in  the  countryside. 

In  the  past,  there  have  been  scattered  reports  of  forced  entry 
of  the  home,  specifically  involving  foreign  Africans.   There 
is  no  evidence  that  correspondence  and  telephone  conversations 
are  monitored. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

There  is  a  limited  range  of  free  expression  in  Cote  d'lvoire. 
Critics  of  the  Government  feel  free  to,  and  do,  express 
themselves  in  informal  situations  without  fear  of  reprisal. 
Public  criticism  of  basic  policies,  the  party,  or  the 
President,  however,  rarely  occurs. 

The  Government  owns  majority  shares  in  the  two  daily 
newspapers,  and  their  editorial  opinion  follows  the  policies 
of  the  PDCI.   The  one  weekly  newsmagazine  is  controlled  by  the 
party.   Several  periodic  pamphlets  are  published  privately. 
The  Ministry  of  Information,  Culture,  Youth,  and  Sports 
operates  radio  and  television  stations  and  a  wire  service. 
Government  policy  assigns  the  media  a  positive  role  in 
promoting  national  unity  and  development.   It  allows  criticism 
of  failures  to  execute  policy  but  not  criticism  of  the  policies 
themselves.   Investigative  journalism  is  permitted  except  with 
respect  to  the  Government  and  its  policies.   The  Government 
has  occasionally  banned  a  critical  publication,  such  as  the 
book,  "Islam  and  the  Cote  d'lvoire."   Foreign  publications  are 
readily  available,  but  occasionally  issues  which  are 


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COTE  D'lVOIRE 

particularly  critical  of  the  Ivorian  Government,  the  party,  or 
the  President  are  seized.   The  magazine  Jeune  Afrique  was 
banned  from  the  country  in  November  after  the  Government  took 
offense  at  one  of  its  articles. 

b.   Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Freedom  of  assembly  is  generally  respected,  except  when  the 
Government  perceives  a  significant  and  immediate  danger  to 
public  order.   Limits,  such  as  the  cancellation  of  gatherings, 
occasionally  are  placed  on  the  expression  of  controversial 
views  in  public  forums.   As  a  result  of  student  disorders  in 
1982,  only  apolitical  gatherings  are  now  permitted  on  campus, 
but  students  still  speak  freely  about  politics  in  informal 
situations.   There  is  little  tradition  of  assembly  for  purely 
political  purposes  outside  the  established  party  structure. 

Major  unions  are  organized  within  a  government-sponsored  labor 
confederation,  the  General  Union  of  Cote  d'lvoire  Workers 
(UGTCI).   Secondary,  university,  and  primary  school  teachers' 
unions  have  been  exceptions  and  until  this  year  they  each 
maintained  independent  trade  unions.   In  July  1987,  the 
congress  of  the  Secondary  School  Teachers'  Union  was 
interrupted  by  disturbances,  whereupon  the  union  leadership 
suspended  the  proceedings.   A  second  group  thereafter  convoked 
the  congress  again  and  elected  a  new  leadership  which  won 
government  endorsement.   Spokesmen  for  both  secondary  and 
university  teachers  accused  the  Government  of  interference  in 
internal  union  affairs  and  abridgement  of  their  right  to 
choose  their  own  leadership.   Shortly  after  the  replacement  of 
the  Secondary  Teachers'  Union  leadership,  the  Primary  School 
Teachers'  Union  asked  to  join  the  UGTCI,  leaving  only  the 
university  teachers  outside  the  fold. 

The  leader  of  the  UGTCI  occupies  a  senior  position  in  the 
party  hierarchy.   Union  membership  is  encouraged  but  not 
mandatory.   The  UGTCI  is  a  relatively  passive  coordinating 
mechanism  rather  than  an  active  force  for  workers'  rights. 
However,  the  UGTCI  has  representatives  in  every  major  business 
enterprise,  and  the  UGTCI  secretariat  often  plays  a  mediation 
or  conciliation  role  in  relations  between  labor  and  management 
in  individual  businesses.   Collective  bargaining  within  each 
company  takes  place  under  UGTCI  leadership. 

The  right  to  strike  exists  under  statute,  but  in  practice 
strikes  are  rarely  authorized  by  the  UGTCI.   Although  there 
were  no  official  strikes  in  1987,  there  were  several  "work 
stoppages."   In  one  case,  after  workers  had  refused  to  work 
for  7  days  and  the  UGTCI  was  unable  to  settle  the  dispute,  the 
Government  stepped  in  and  settled  the  dispute  in  favor  of  the 
workers . 

The  1983  secondary  teachers'  strike  was  broken  by  a 
presidential  decree  ordering  teachers  back  to  the  classrooms 
and  threatening  them  with  fines  and  prison  sentences  for 
noncompliance.   Generally,  the  Government  negotiates  with 
strikers  and  resolves  at  least  some  of  their  economic 
grievances.   Aside  from  the  dispute  with  secondary  school 
teachers  and  the  arrest  and  detention  of  16  of  their  members, 
there  have  been  no  reports  that  professional  groups  have 
experienced  persecution  or  harassment.   The  Government, 
however,  attempts  to  bring  such  groups  under  its  wing  or  that 
of  the  party. 


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COTE  D'lVOIRE 

Unions,  trade  associations,  and  professional  bodies  are 
permitted  to  maintain  relations  with  recognized  international 
professional  bodies  in  their  fields.   The  UGTCI  is  a  member  of 
the  continent-wide  Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity. 
Cote  d'lvoire  is  a  member-state  of  the  International  Labor 
Organization  (ILO),  and  the  UGTCI  participates  in  Ivorian 
delegations  to  ILO  conferences  and  events. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

There  are  no  known  impediments  to  religious  expression.   There 
is  no  dominant  religion,  and  no  particular  faith  is  favored  by 
the  Government.  The  open  practice  of  religion  is  permitted, 
and  there  are  no  restrictions  on  religious  ceremonies  or 
teaching . 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

The  Ivorian  Government  exercises  minimal  control  over  domestic 
travel,  but  internal  roadblocks  for  identity  and  customs 
checks  are  common.   Persons  stopped  at  such  roadblocks  are 
sometim.es  harassed  by  the  police.   Ivorians  can  travel  abroad 
freely  and  can  emigrate  without  discrimination.   Ivorians  have 
the  right  of  voluntary  repatriation.   There  are  no  known  cases 
of  revocation  of  citizenship. 

Cote  d'lvoire's  refugee  and  asylum  practices  are  liberal.   The 
country  has  resettled  or  granted  safe  haven  to  Angolans, 
Burkinabe,  Eritreans,  Ghanaians,  Guineans,  Liberians,  and 
Vietnamese. 

While  in  Cote  d'lvoire,  refugees  receive  1-year  renewable 
resident  visas  for  their  first  5  years  in  the  country,  after 
which  they  may  apply  for  permanent  residence.   Cote  d'lvoire 
does  not  take  any  significant  responsibility  for  the  economic 
and  social  welfare  of  refugees,  which  becomes  the  concern  of 
private  and  international  organizations. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Political  participation  is  limited  to  the  PDCI,  which  is 
headed  by  President  Houphouet-Boigny .   No  opposition  groups 
exist  openly,  and  their  formation  is  discouraged.   Therefore, 
in  practice  the  citizens  of  Cote  d'lvoire  are  unable  to  change 
the  one-party  system  of  government. 

Within  the  party,  the  President  wields  power  through  a 
13-member  Executive  Committee,  a  57-member  political  bureau, 
and  a  208-member  steering  committee.   Political  power  is 
concentrated  in  the  President's  hands,  and  most  important 
decisions  are  made  by  the  President  himself.   The  National 
Assembly  initiated  its  first  legislation  in  history  to  promote 
job  creation  in  the  rural  and  small  business  sectors  during 
the  1986-87  legislative  year.   The  Assembly  also  confirms  and 
ratifies  legislative  initiatives  received  from  the  President. 

Within  this  strict  one-party  system,  the  Ivorian  Government 
continues  to  encourage  more  open  participation  in  the 
political  process  by  expanding  the  size  of  the  party 
institutions  and  by  permitting  party  members  to  contest 
legislative,  municipal,  and  local  party  elections.   In  the 
case  of  the  1985  legislative  elections,  for  example. 


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COTE  D'lVOIRE 

approximately  577  individuals  ran  for  the  175-seat  National 
Assembly.   Many  incumbents  were  defeated  in  all  three 
elections . 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 
Nongovermental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  has  been  cooperative  toward  inquiries  into  its 
human  rights  situation,  the  last  of  which  occurred  in  1981. 
Cote  d'lvoire  has  a  local  chapter  of  Amnesty  International. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

There  is  no  apparent  discrimination  based  on  race,  sex, 
religion,  language,  or  social  status.   The  most  lucrative 
government  and  private  sector  jobs  seem  to  be  concentrated 
among  the  minority  Muslim  (30  percent)  and  Christian  (15 
percent)  populations,  a  phenomenon  attributable  more  to 
urbanization  and  access  to  education  than  to  a  systematic 
pattern  of  discrimination.   However,  all  religions  are 
represented  at  top  levels  of  government  and  throughout 
society.   Although  French  is  the  official  language  and  the 
language  of  instruction  in  the  schools,  radio  and  television 
broadcasts  are  provided  in  major  local  languages.   Social  and 
economic  mobility  are  not  limited  by  policy  or  custom. 

Non-Ivorian  Africans  living  in  the  Cote  d'lvoire  are  estimated 
at  over  3  million;  about  half  come  from  Burkina  Faso  and  the 
rest  from  other  nearby  countries.   These  foreign  workers  play 
an  important  role  in  the  Ivorian  economy,  especially  in 
agriculture.   The  Government's  policy  of  Ivorianization 
requires  that  all  positions  be  offered  to  Ivorians  before 
foreigners;  this  prevents  foreign  Africans  from  obtaining  most 
of  the  higher  paying  wage  and  salary  jobs  in  the  modern  sector. 

Although  males  clearly  play  the  preponderant  role  overall, 
some  Ivorian  traditional  societies  accord  v;omen  considerable 
political  and  economic  power.   Nonetheless,  in  rural  areas 
tribal  customs  dictate  the  division  of  menial  tasks,  which  are 
performed  mostly  by  women.   Children  often  work  on  their 
parents'  land,  and  in  Abidjan  some  children  routinely  act  as 
vendors  of  consumer  goods  in  the  informal  sector.   Female 
circumcision  continues  to  be  practiced  among  elements  of  the 
Ivorian  population,  although  it  is  rare  in  urban  populations. 
Official  party  policy  is  to  encourage  full  participation  by 
women  in  social,  economic,  and  political  life.   The  role  of 
women  has  recently  won  somewhat  greater  prominence.   In  July 
1986,  the  President  appointed  a  new  Minister  for  Women's 
Affairs,  a  cabinet-level  position  first  created  in  1976  but 
which  had  been  vacant  for  almost  2  years.   Women  remain 
lightly  represented  at  the  higher  levels  of  government  and  the 
party.   Ten  women  are  deputies  in  the  175-seat  National 
Assembly  and  28  women  are  members  of  the  208-member  Steering 
Committee  of  the  PDCI . 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

The  Government  enforces  a  comprehensive  work  code  of  law,  the 
Code  du  Travail,  governing  the  terms  and  conditions  of  service 
for  salaried  workers  and  providing  for  occupational  safety  and 
health  standards. 


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COTE  D' IVOIRE 

Extensive  safeguards  protect  those  employed  in  the  modern 
sector  against  unjust  compensation,  excessive  hours,  and 
capricious  discharge  from  employment.   In  most  instances,  the 
minimum  working  age  is  16,  and  minimum  wages  vary  according  to 
occupation,  e.g.,  a  skilled  worker  would  earn  the  equivalent 
of  $0.77  per  hour.   Wage  levels  increase  for  workers  with  more 
experience  and  skills.   Month-long  paid  vacations  and  a 
substantial  severance  pay  are  guaranteed.   Government  medical 
insurance  and  retirement  programs  provide  an  element  of  income 
security  for  salaried  employees  in  the  modern  sector. 
However,  there  is  a  large  informal  sector  of  the  economy, 
involving  both  urban  and  especially  rural  workers,  in  which 
many  of  these  occupational  regulations  and  safeguards  are 
enforced  erratically  at  best. 


83 


DJIBOUTI 


Djibouti  is  a  constitutional  republic  with  a  one-party 
political  system.   Occupying  a  small,  arid  land  at  the 
southern  tip  of  the  Red  Sea,  Djibouti's  330,000-400,000  people 
have  been  ruled  since  independence  from  France  in  1977  by 
President  Hassan  Gouled  Aptidon,  who  was  reelected  in  April 
1987.   President  Hassan  Gouled's  Rassemblement  Populaire  Pour 
le  Progress  (RPP)  has  been  Djibouti's  only  legal  political 
party  since  the  1981  election  year  when  the  Government 
outlawed  the  Mouvement  Populaire  Djiboutien  (MPD) .   An 
overseas  opposition  party,  the  Mouvement  National  Djiboutien 
Pour  1'  Instauration  de  la  Democratie  (MNDID) ,  led  by  a  former 
government  official,  has  minimal  influence  in  Djibouti. 

Political  life  in  Djibouti  is  a  subtle  and  unequal  contest 
between  two  major  ethnic  groups,  the  predominant  Issa  and  the 
sizable  minority  Afar.   An  Arab  minority,  mostly  Yemeni,  are 
prominent  in  commerce  but  not  in  politics.   Although  Djibouti 
has  had  only  one  president  since  independence,  it  is  accepted 
that  the  presidency  is  and  will  be  reserved  for  an  Issa  and 
the  prime  minister  for  an  Afar.   The  president,  who  wields  the 
significant  executive  power,  appoints  the  prime  minister. 
Cabinet  positions  are  divided  among  Issas  and  Afars.   In 
practice,  real  authority  in  the  civil  service  and  the  armed 
forces  is  in  Issa  hands. 

Djibouti's  armed  forces  have  a  total  strength  of  about  3,500, 
primarily  ground  forces,  but  with  a  small  naval  force  and  a 
one-plane  (transport)  air  force.   France  guarantees  Djibouti's 
external  security  under  a  1977  agreement.   France  also 
maintains  a  garrison  of  about  3,800  military  and  naval 
personnel  in  Djibouti. 

Djibouti's  narrowly  based  formal  economy  is  centered  on 
services  for  an  expatriate  community  of  about  10,000  and 
operation  of  the  seaport,  the  airport,  and  the  Djibouti-Addis 
Ababa  railroad.   While  some  large  enterprises  are  state  owned, 
free  enterprise  is  encouraged,  and  there  is  private  ownership 
of  both  property  and  capital.   Lack  of  economic  growth  has 
been  aggravated  since  independence  by  the  recurrence  of 
drought  and  the  influx  of  tens  of  thousands  of  imjtiigrants 
(legal  and  illegal)  fleeing  war,  drought,  famine,  and 
repressive  political  and  economic  conditions  in  Ethiopia  and 
Somalia.   Even  with  international  assistance  led  by  the  United 
Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  (UNHCR) ,  Djibouti  has 
been  hard  pressed  to  absorb  refugees  into  an  economy  also 
coping  with  illegal  economic  migrants. 

There  was  little  change  in  the  human  rights  situation  in 
Djibouti  in  1987  in  terms  of  government  policy.   A  Djiboutian 
who  does  not  oppose  the  Government  or  the  party  is  generally 
free  to  pursue  his  life  and  livelihood  without  government 
interference.   However,  a  number  of  abuses  occurred  in 
connection  with  Djibouti's  continuing  efforts  to  return 
illegal  aliens  to  their  own  countries. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  government-inspired  political 
killings  during  1987. 


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DJIBOUTI 

The  March  18,  1987,  terrorist  bombing  at  the  outdoor  Cafe 
L'Historil  killed  12  persons  (5  French  citizens,  4  Germans, 
and  3  Djiboutians)  and  maimed  or  wounded  some  40  others.   The 
Tunisian  national  charged  with  the  crime  is  being  held  while 
legal  investigation  of  the  incident  moves  toward  trial.   All 
seven  lawyers  of  Djibouti's  bar  have  been  appointed  defense 
counsel . 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  allegations  of  disappearance  of  persons  for 
political  reasons. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

There  are  occasional  allegations  of  cruel,  inhuman,  or 
degrading  treatment  or  punishment,  such  as  the  beating  of 
prisoners.   There  were  no  substantiated  cases  of  such 
practices  in  1987. 

While  prison  conditions  are  barely  adequate,  prisoners  may  be 
visited  by  their  families  and  lawyers.   Medical  care  is  also 
available  to  prisoners.   Public  health  personnel  oversee 
prison  conditions. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Still  in  an  early  stage  of  development,  Djibouti's  legal 
system  is  a  hybrid  of  Djiboutian  legislation  and  executive 
decree,  French  Napoleonic  codified  law,  Koranic  (Islamic) 
religious  law,  and  the  traditional  law  of  the  indigenous 
nomadic  peoples.   Crimes  committed  in  urban  areas  are  dealt 
with  according  to  French  criminal  law  and  judicial  practice. 
Other  questions  coming  before  the  law,  and  offenses  in 
Djibouti's  sparsely  populated  hinterland,  may  be  disposed  of 
according  to  Islamic  law  or  ethnic  traditions. 

Suspected  wrongdoers  can  be  arrested  after  a  warrant  is  issued 
by  a  judge.   By  government  decree,  a  person  may  be  held  no 
more  than  48  hours  without  being  charged  formally  by  an 
examining  magistrate.   A  judge  may  release  the  accused  on  bail 
or  personal  recognizance,  or  order  the  accused  jailed  pending 
the  court's  verdict.   A  detainee  must  be  told  of  his  right  to 
legal  counsel. 

There  is  no  forced  labor  in  Djibouti. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Proceedings  in  civil  court,  criminal  court,  and  the  special 
state  security  court  are  open  to  family  members  and  lawyers  of 
those  involved  but  are  not  open  to  the  general  public.   The 
judiciary  remains  generally  independent  of  influence,  from  the 
Government  or  the  party  in  criminal  matters  but  susceptible  to 
influence  in  political  cases. 

A  historic  Afar  leader  in  Djibouti's  independence  movement  now 
living  overseas,  Aden  Robleh  Awaleh,  faces  life  imprisonment 
in  Djibouti  after  trial  and  conviction  in  absentia  on  charges 
related  to  a  politically  motivated  bombing  and  other  criminal 
charges.   Aden  Robleh  Awaleh  now  heads  an  overseas  opposition 
party,  the  MNDID.   Party  followers  were  arrested  in  Djibouti 
shortly  before  the  April  1987  presidential  election  for 


85 


DJIBOUTI 

was  established  in  1987.   A  number  of  Christian  missionaries 
proselytize  freely. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Djiboutians  travel  freely  both  inside  and  outside  Djibouti. 
Passports  are  generally  available  to  all  Djiboutians.   There 
are  no  currency  controls. 

Djibouti's  borders  are  porous.   Pastoralists  who  eke  out  a 
living  from  this  dry  and  arid  terrain  pass  freely  back  and 
forth  across  the  borders  in  pursuit  of  pasture  and  water  for 
their  herds. 

Over  the  last  decade,  tens  of  thousands  of  persons  have 
entered  Djibouti  in  flight  from  war,  famine,  political 
oppression,  and  deteriorating  economies  in  neighboring 
Ethiopia  and  Somalia.   There  are  approximately  13,000  refugees 
registered  with  the  United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for 
Refugees  (UNHCR)  in  Djibouti.   By  government  decree  (although 
difficult  to  enforce),  all  refugees  are  required  to  live  in  a 
refugee  camp  at  Dikhil,  in  Djibouti's  harsh  interior. 
However,  many  registered  refugees  continue  to  live  in  and  near 
Djibouti  city.   During  the  8  years  of  its  existence  at  Dikhil, 
the  refugee  center  has  developed  into  an  economically 
functioning  village  in  some  respects  more  active  than  the  old 
town  itself.   Both  the  international  community  under  UNHCR 
coordination  and  the  Government  provide  services  to  the 
refugees  at  Dikhil. 

Refugees  who  want  to  return  to  Ethiopia  voluntarily  may 
register  to  do  so  with  the  UNHCR.   After  a  long  hiatus  due  to 
drought  in  Ethiopia,  actual  voluntary  repatriations  resumed  on 
December  8,  1986.   As  of  September  1987,  3,397  Ethiopians  had 
been  repatriated  voluntarily  under  UNHCR  auspices. 

In  addition  to  UNHCR-registered  refugees,  there  are  thousands 
of  persons  in  Djibouti  whom  the  Government  considers  illegal 
aliens.   Responsible  estimates  of  their  number  range  as  high 
as  20,000.   The  Government  charges  that  these  illegal  aliens 
take  jobs  away  from  Djiboutians  and  are  an  unreasonable  burden 
on  an  economy  with  an  unemployment  rate  estimated  at  50-70 
percent.   During  the  Government's  program  to  control  illegal 
aliens  who  do  not  qualify  as  refugees,  abuses  have  occurred. 
On  December  20,  1986,  five  undocumented  aliens  (all 
Ethiopians),  living  in  Djibouti  illegally,  died  of  suffocation 
while  being  returned  against  their  wishes  to  Ethiopia  in  a 
railroad  boxcar.   The  Government  quickly  expressed  public 
regret  over  the  deaths  and  promised  an  investigation  and 
appropriate  measures  to  prevent  similar  accidents.   At  the 
same  time,  the  Government  reaffirmed  that  deportation  of 
illegal  aliens  was  legal  and  in  order. 

Late  in  May  1987,  eight  Somali  students,  who  had  applied  to 
the  UNHCR  for  protection  as  refugees,  were  returned  to  Somalia 
by  Djiboutian  security  personnel  before  the  UNHCR  could 
determine  whether  they  qualified  for  refugee  status. 

Also  in  late  May  1987,  about  70  persons  at  the  Dikhil  refugee 
camp  who  had  been  refused  refugee  status  threatened  a  hunger 
strike  and  reportedly  burned  a  refugee  camp  tent  and  a 
Djiboutian  flag.   The  Djiboutian  gendarmerie  responded  to  the 
violence  by  rounding  up  and  immediately  deporting  103  persons. 
It  was  later  ascertained  that  among  the  103  persons  were 


86 


DJIBOUTI 

distributing  leaflets  supporting  Robleh  for  president.   Those 
arrested  were  quickly  released  without  charge. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

In  the  past,  there  have  been  occasional  reports  of  violation 
of  a  government  decree  that  bars  police  entry  into  private 
homes  without  the  resident's  consent  or  without  a  legal  order 
except  in  such  extraordinary  circumstances  as  preservation  of 
public  order.   However,  there  were  no  reports  of  violations  of 
rights  of  privacy,  family,  home,  or  correspondence  during  1987. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Outside  the  one-party  structure,  Djiboutians  generally  do  not 
enjoy  the  freedom  of  political  public  speech.   However,  there 
is  little  if  any  official  interference  in  private  speech, 
including  political  speech. 

Djibouti's  radio  and  television  stations  and  one  newspaper 
(French-language  weekly)  are  all  government  owned  and 
operated.   Government  policy  is  to  coordinate  all  official 
dissemination  of  information,  ostensibly  in  the  interest  of 
national  development.   The  news  media  occasionally  look  at 
shortcomings,  inefficiencies,  and  even  corruption  within  the 
government  bureaucracy,  but  the  Government  itself  is  free  from 
criticism.   The  media  usually  shy  away  from  coverage  of 
violence,  crime,  and  ethnic  strife.   There  have  been 
occasional  confiscations  of  foreign  publications  which  contain 
commentary  critical  of  the  Government,  though  none  occurred  in 
1987. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Public  meetings  require  government-issued  permits,  which  may 
be  refused  for  security  reasons.   No  political  meetings  are 
permitted  outside  the  framework  of  the  one  legal  political 
party.   With  that  important  exception,  Djiboutians  are  allowed 
to  associate  freely.   Social,  religious,  cultural,  and 
commercial  associations  are  free  from  government  interference. 

Labor's  right  to  organize  and  to  strike  is  legally  recognized 
but  severely  restricted  in  practice.   Workers  are  free  either 
to  join  or  not  to  join  a  union  as  they  choose,  and  only  a 
small  fraction  of  Djiboutian  workers  are  union  members. 
Djibouti's  sole  national  labor  federation,  the  Union  Generale 
de  Travailleurs  Djiboutiens  (UGTD) ,  is  government  organized 
and  controlled.   The  Government  exerts  some  control  over 
labor,  especially  through  UGTD-af f i liated  unions  which 
represent  workers  at  most  large  enterprises.   Labor  action  is 
generally  restricted  to  temporary  work  stoppages  as  ad  hoc 
protests  against  dismissals  or  working  conditions.   Individual 
unions  are  free  to  maintain  relations  internationally  with 
other  labor  organizations. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Freedom  of  religion  is  enjoyed  by  members  of  all  faiths. 
Although  more  than  95  percent  of  the  population  is  Muslim, 
Djibouti  is  officially  a  secular  republic.   There  are  several 
Christian  churches  in  Djibouti,  and  a  Coptic  Christian  church 


87 


DJIBOUTI 

was  established  in  1987.   A  number  of  Christian  missionaries 
proselytize  freely. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Djiboutians  travel  freely  both  inside  and  outside  Djibouti. 
Passports  are  generally  available  to  all  Djiboutians.   There 
are  no  currency  controls. 

Djibouti's  borders  are  porous.   Pastoralists  who  eke  out  a 
living  from  this  dry  and  arid  terrain  pass  freely  back  and 
forth  across  the  borders  in  pursuit  of  pasture  and  water  for 
their  herds. 

Over  the  last  decade  tens  of  thousands  of  persons  have  entered 
Djibouti  in  flight  from  war,  famine,  political  oppression,  and 
deteriorating  economies  in  neighboring  Ethiopia  and  Somalia. 
There  are  approximately  13,000  refugees  registered  with  the 
United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  (UNHCR)  in 
Djibouti.   By  government  decree  (although  difficult  to 
enforce),  all  refugees  are  reguired  to  live  in  a  refugee  camp 
at  Dikhil,  in  Djibouti's  harsh  interior.   However,  many 
registered  refugees  continue  to  live  in  and  near  Djibouti 
city.   During  the  8  years  of  its  existence  at  Dikhil,  the 
refugee  center  has  developed  into  an  economically  functioning 
village  in  some  respects  more  active  than  the  old  town 
itself.   Both  the  international  community  under  UNHCR 
coordination  and  the  Government  provide  services  to  the 
refugees  at  Dikhil. 

Refugees  who  want  to  return  to  Ethiopia  voluntarily  may 
register  to  do  so  with  the  UNHCR.   After  a  long  hiatus  due  to 
drought  in  Ethiopia,  actual  voluntary  repatriations  resumed  on 
December  8,  1986.   As  of  September  1987,  3,397  Ethiopians  had 
been  repatriated  voluntarily  under  UNHCR  auspices. 

In  addition  to  UNHCR-registered  refugees,  there  are  thousands 
of  persons  in  Djibouti  whom  the  Government  considers  illegal 
aliens.   Responsible  estimates  of  their  number  range  as  high 
as  20,000.   The  Governm.ent  charges  that  these  illegal  aliens 
take  jobs  away  from  Djiboutians  and  are  an  unreasonable  burden 
on  an  economy  with  an  unemployment  rate  estimated  at  50-70 
percent.   During  the  Government's  program  to  control  illegal 
aliens  who  do  not  qualify  as  refugees,  abuses  have  occurred. 
On  December  20,  1986,  five  undocumented  aliens  (all 
Ethiopians),  living  in  Djibouti  illegally,  died  of  suffocation 
while  being  returned  against  their  wishes  to  Ethiopia  in  a 
railroad  boxcar.   The  Government  quickly  expressed  public 
regret  over  the  deaths  and  promised  an  investigation  and 
appropriate  measures  to  prevent  similar  accidents.   At  the 
same  time,  the  Government  reaffirmed  that  deportation  of 
illegal  aliens  was  legal  and  in  order. 

Late  in  May  1987,  eight  Somali  students,  who  had  applied  to 
the  UNHCR  for  protection  as  refugees,  were  returned  to  Somalia 
by  Djiboutian  security  personnel  before  the  UNHCR  could 
determine  whether  they  qualified  for  refugee  status. 

Also  in  late  May  1987,  about  70  persons  at  the  Dikhil  refugee 
camp  who  had  been  refused  refugee  status  threatened  a  hunger 
strike  and  reportedly  burned  a  refugee  camp  tent  and  a 
Djiboutian  flag.   The  Djiboutian  gendarmerie  responded  to  the 
violence  by  rounding  up  and  immediately  deporting  103  persons. 
It  was  later  ascertained  that  among  the  103  persons  were 


DJIBOUTI 

8  persons  to  whom  the  UNHCR  had  granted  refugee  status.   The 
UNHCR  later  reported  that  the  registered  refugees  who  had  been 
improperly  deported  had  subsequently  returned  to  Djibouti 
safely. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Djibouti  is  a  one-party  state.   The  Issa-dominated  RPP  has 
been  the  only  lawful  political  party  since  the  1981  outlawing 
of  the  Afar-dominated  MPD  following  election-year  violence. 
The  party  chooses  all  candidates  for  election  to  the  presidency 
and  the  65-member  National  Assembly,  as  it  did  most  recently 
before  the  national  elections  held  in  April  1987.   Although 
citizens  are  encouraged  to  vote,  party  control  of  the  political 
process  is  such  that  Djiboutians  have  no  democratic,  nonviolent 
way  to  change  their  government. 

All  of  Djibouti's  ethnic  groups  have  generally  been 
represented  in  the  ruling  cabinet,  but  a  disproportionate 
share  of  the  real  power  is  held  by  the  Issas  in  the  civil 
service,  the  armed  forces,  and  the  RPP.   Ethnic  and 
extended-family  relationships  are  said  to  be  more  important 
than  individual  qualifications  in  filling  senior  civilian  and 
military  positions. 

Within  the  one-party  system,  the  April  1987  presidential  and 
parliamentary  elections  were  peaceful,  with  87  percent  of  the 
almost  101,000  registered  voters  casting  their  ballots.   As 
noted,  some  party  followers  of  the  overseas-based  Afar  leader 
Aden  Robleh  Awaleh  were  temporarily  detained  prior  to  the 
election  for  distributing  leaflets  supporting  Robleh  for 
president . 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

There  are  no  private  human  rights  organizations  in  Djibouti. 
The  Government's  relations  with  the  UNHCR,  responsible  only 
for  the  protection  of  internationally  recognized  refugees,  are 
good.   There  were  no  known  instances  of  the  Government 
ignoring  queries  on  human  rights  during  1987. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  predominant  status  of  the  Issa  in  the  civil  service,  the 
military,  and  the  ruling  political  party  probably  amounts  to 
de  facto  discrimination  against  the  Afar  based  on  ethnicity 
and  language. 

Women  in  Djibouti  have  equal  status  with  men  under  the 
French-inspired  codified  law  and  generally  enjoy  higher  public 
status  than  do  women  in  some  Islamic  countries  in  the  region. 
Women  are  active  in  small  trade,  and  many  women  are  employed 
in  offices  and  retail  stores.   However,  no  women  hold  senior 
positions  in  either  the  Government  or  the  sole  political 
party.   Nomadic  traditions  of  genital  mutilation  of  young 
girls  (particularly  excision  and  inf ibulation)  are  practiced 
widely  without  government  interference. 


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DJIBOUTI 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Djibouti  has  long  suffered  high  unemployment.   Although 
government  policy  strongly  favors  the  employment  of 
Djiboutians,  expatriates  hold  about  20  percent  of  the 
positions  in  the  formal  sector  and  an  even  more 
disproportionate  share  of  the  higher-paying  positions. 

Djibouti's  labor  laws  and  regulations,  taken  over  from  French 
law  at  independence,  guarantee  a  worker  in  the  formal  sector 
wages  and  working  conditions  superior  to  those  in  countries 
with  similar  economic  bases.   In  addition  to  high  wages,  a 
worker  enjoys  employer-funded  social  security,  medical,  and 
retirement  benefits.   A  50-year-old  worker  with  15  years  of 
employment  may  retire  at  80  percent  of  his  salary.   The 
minimum  working  age  is  18.   A  40-hour  work  week  is  standard. 

Many  Djiboutians,  refugees,  and  illegal  aliens  work  in  the 
significant  informal  sector  in  which  their  employment  is  not 
reported  to  the  Government  (in  violation  of  Djiboutian  labor 
law  and  regulation).   This  informal  sector  includes  small 
trade;  petty  street  vending  of  cigarettes,  postcards,  and  the 
like;  and  domestic  work. 


90 


EQUATORIAL  GUINEA 


Equatorial  Guinea  is  a  former  Spanish  colony  in  central  West 
Africa  composed  of  a  continental  province  (Rio  Muni)  and  the 
island  provinces  of  Bioko  and  Annobon.   It  has  an  estimated 
population  of  340,000.   The  capital,  Malabo,  is  on  Bioko.   The 
current  regime,  under  President  Teodoro  Obiang  Nguema  Mbasogo, 
took  power  as  a  military  government  in  the  1979  coup  which 
overthrew  President  Macias  and  ended  his  11-year,  state- 
sanctioned  policy  of  terror.   A  national  Constitution  was 
adopted  in  1982,  national  and  local  assemblies  chosen,  and  the 
military  Government  declared  itself  a  civilian  government. 
In  December  1986,  a  single  political  party,  the  Democratic 
Party  of  Equatorial  Guinea  (DPEG) ,  was  established  by 
government  decree,  with  the  President  as  its  head.   Only 
members  of  the  DPEG  may  hold  public  office.   All  adult 
citizens,  even  those  who  are  not  party  members,  are  required 
to  pay  party  dues. 

The  Guinean  police  and  military,  with  substantial  assistance 
from  Spain,  have  been  reorganized  totally  since  1979.   A 
300-man  guard  force  provided  by  Morocco  assists  in  protecting 
the  President.   In  the  first  instance,  internal  security  is 
the  responsibility  of  the  Minister  of  Territorial 
Administration  through  the  national  police  force,  the  Guardia 
Civil . 

Most  of  the  population  lives  by  subsistence  agriculture, 
fishing,  and  hunting,  with  per  capita  annual  income 
approximately  $260.   The  small  wage  economy,  based  on  cocoa, 
lumber,  and  coffee,  was  devastated  by  the  Macias  years  and  the 
death  or  exodus  of  thousand's  of  trained  and  educated  citizens. 
The  economy  remains  extremely  fragile,  despite  substantial 
foreign  aid  and  attempts  at  reform,  which  include  entrance 
into  the  West  African  Franc  Zone,  debt  rescheduling,  and 
efforts  to  attract  much  needed  foreign  investment,  especially 
from  France  and  the  European  Economic  Community.   A  major 
barrier  to  economic  development  is  the  lack  of  a  clear  rule  of 
law  to  protect  and  encourage  foreign  investors  and  indigenous 
entrepreneurs.   Numerous  plantations,  abandoned  by  their 
Spanish  and  Nigerian  owners  during  the  Macias  regime,  were 
arbitrarily  expropriated  in  1984  and  sold  under  very  favorable 
terms  to  influential  members  of  the  current  Government.   In 
September  and  October,  the  Government  began  to  reevaluate, 
thus  far  ineffectively,  the  questions  of  ownership  and 
indemnity  relating  to  these  properties. 

The  human  rights  situation  in  1987  changed  little  from 
previous  years,  with  continued  reports  of  arbitrary  arrests, 
citizen  harassment  by  poorly  paid  police  and  military, 
discrimination  against  minority  groups  and  migrant  workers, 
and  the  use  of  forced  labor.   Freedom  of  speech  and  assembly 
are  not  respected.   In  addition,  the  Jehovah's  Witnesses, 
declared  an  illegal  sect  in  late  1985,  faced  increasing 
persecution  in  1987  with  disruptions  of  church  services  and 
arrests  of  members  who  were  accused  of  "anarchic"  and  "immoral" 
practices.   As  part  of  a  general  amnesty  decreed  in  October, 
five  persons  tried  and  sentenced  under  military  law  for 
involvement  in  the  July  1986  coup  attempt  were  released  from 
prison. 


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RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1  Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from; 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reported  incidents  of  political  killing. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  known  disappearances. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Police  methods  are  harsh  and  often  include  beatings  of 
prisoners  either  to  extract  information  or  to  punish  offenders 
for  alleged  insolence  or  disrespect.   The  Government  appears 
little  inclined  to  curb  such  abuses.   Arbitrary  police 
beatings  of  politically  powerless  people,  such  as  expatriate 
Nigerian  and  Cameroonian  workers  and  members  of  Bubi  and 
certain  other  indigenous  tribes,  continued  in  1987. 

Mistreatment  of  prisoners  is  condemned  officially  but  in  fact 
is  tolerated.   Prisoners  are  dependent  on  their  families  for 
food.   Prison  conditions  are  unhealthy,  and  medical  care  is 
almost  nonexistent.   Prisoners  often  are  forced  to  sleep  and 
sit  on  the  floor,  occasionally  denied  exercise,  or  required  to 
work  on  private  plantations. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Despite  constitutional  provisions,  there  is  no  enforcement  of 
the  right  of  a  person  in  detention  to  be  charged  or  released 
within  a  certain  period  of  time,  to  have  access  to  a  lawyer, 
or  to  be  freed  on  bail.   Arbitrary  arrests  by  security  forces 
or  police  are  commonplace,  usually  on  trumped-up  charges  to 
extort  money. 

There  were  no  known  instances  of  any  citizen  being  exiled 
abroad  in  1987.   The  Government  continued  to  round  up 
so-called  vagrant  illegal  aliens  and  ordinary  citizens  and  put 
them  to  work.   These  roundups  are  a  means  of  obtaining  free 
labor  and  often  are  linked  to  preparation  for  important 
national  days,  the  arrival  of  visiting  dignitaries,  and 
seasonal  needs  on  the  plantations  of  important  government 
officials . 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  Ministry  of  Justice  has  made  little  progress  in 
establishing  a  fully  functional  legal  system,  and  the  executive 
branch  has  been  able  to  act  without  fear  of  judicial  review. 
The  justices  on  the  highest  Court,  the  Supreme  Court,  serve  at 
the  pleasure  of  the  President,  who  replaced  all  but  one  justice 
early  in  1986.   Of  12  Supreme  Court  positions,  only  4  have 
ever  been  filled  at  the  same  time.   The  tribunal  provided  for 
in  the  Constitution  to  decide  constitutional  issues  has  never 
been  established. 

The  exact  number  of  political  prisoners  is  unknown  but  is 
believed  to  be  small.   The  Government  does  not  admit  to  holding 
any  political  prisoners.   There  is  still  no  information 
available  on  the  fate  of  26  persons  tried  in  July  1983  on 


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EQUATORIAL  GUINEA 

charges  stemming  from  a  coup  attempt  in  May  1983.   According 
to  Amnesty  International,  the  26  defendants  did  not  receive 
fair  trials.   The  Government  reported  only  that  the  majority 
of  the  accused  received  sentences  varying  from  5  to  10  years. 

Military  tribunals  hear  all  capital  offenses,  civil  and 
criminal,  in  Equatorial  Guinea.   The  most  important  recent 
court  case  took  place  in  1986  with  the  public  2-day  trial  of 
15  persons,  including  the  Deputy  Prime  Minister  and  senior 
government  and  military  officials,  accused  of  plotting  to 
overthrow  the  Government  in  July  1986.   The  defendants  were 
represented  by  government-employed  counsel,  and  the  proceedings 
were  broadcast  on  state  radio  and  television.   The  military 
tribunal  sentenced  one  defendant  to  death  (a  member  of  the 
military),  four  to  long  prison  terms  (18  to  20  years),  and  six 
to  terms  of  2  years,  while  four  were  stripped  of  government 
positions  and  set  free.   The  single  death  sentence  was  carried 
out  on  the  day  of  the  verdict.   Five  of  those  sentenced  to 
2-year  terms  were  released  from  prison  1  year  early,  in 
October  1987,  under  a  general  amnesty  decree  signed  by  the 
President . 

The  actual  charges  against  the  defendants  ranged  from 
violating  three  sections  of  the  Constitution  to  violating  a 
particular  section  of  the  military  penal  code.   The 
constitutional  provisions  speak  generally  of  citizens' 
obligations  and  are  not  criminal  statutes.   In  addition,  it 
was  not  clear  how  the  military  penal  code  applied  to  the 
civilian  defendants.   The  speed  of  the  judicial  process,  the 
questionable  legal  bases  of  the  charges  brought,  the  doubtful 
jurisdiction  of  the  military  tribunal,  the  lack  of  independent 
defense  counsel,  and  the  absence  of  appeal  procedures  raised 
serious  questions  whether  the  defendants  received  due  process. 

The  current  court  system,  which  often  uses  local  customary 
law,  is  a  combination  of  traditional,  civil,  and  military 
justice,  and  operates  in  an  ad  hoc  manner  for  lack  of 
established  procedures  and  experienced  judicial  personnel.   It 
is  not  known  how  frequently  people  are  denied  trials  since 
many  detainees  deal  directly  with  the  arresting  authorities 
and  resort  to  bribes  to  gain  their  freedom.   Most  trials  are 
brief.   In  cases  of  petty  theft  or  civil  disputes,  all  parties 
are  brought  before  a  judge  for  trial.   In  civil  and  criminal 
cases,  the  judge  often  levies  a  fine  in  lieu  of  imprisonment. 
In  cases  involving  senior  officials,  exclusion  from  public 
office  and  confinement  to  traditional  villages  are  common 
means  of  punishment. 

Equatorial  Guinea's  estimated  15  lawyers  work  for  the 
Government  and  consequently  are  unable  to  challenge  government 
actions  effectively.   Laws  are  enacted  by  decree  and  are  not 
published  or  otherwise  effectively  promulgated.   As  there  are 
no  libraries  or  independent  resource  facilities,  a  citizen  is 
seldom  able  to  determine  what  the  laws  are  or  whether  he  or 
she  has  been  charged  with  a  bona  fide  offense. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

There  were  reports  of  arbitrary  interference  with  privacy  but 
not  with  correspondence.   There  is  a  general  suspicion  that 
telephone  conversations  are  routinely  monitored.   Search 
warrants  are  not  usually  used,  even  though  they  are  required 


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by  the  Constitution.   There  is  no  forced  resettlement  of 
population,  and  no  interference  with  the  right  to  marry  or 
have  children. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Open  criticism  of  the  Government  is  not  permitted.   The  media 
that  exist  in  Equatorial  Guinea  are  government  owned  and 
operated.   The  single  newspaper  (published  sporadically)  is  in 
fact  a  government  bulletin.   The  radio  and  television  stations 
transmit  official  government  notices  and  imported 
entertainment,  sports,  and  religious  programs.   There  are  no 
prohibitions  on  receiving  foreign  publications  or  periodicals, 
but  for  economic  reasons  there  are  no  such  publications  for 
sale  anywhere  in  the  country. 

It  is  doubtful  that  the  Government  would  permit  the  sale  or 
distribution  of  publications  openly  critical  of  its  conduct. 
School  libraries  require  government  permission  to  accept  even 
donated  books. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Citizens  are  not  free  to  associate  publicly  with  others  to 
discuss  political  or  economic  matters,  notwithstanding 
constitutional  guarantees  to  the  contrary.   The  Government 
does  not  permit  opposition  organizations  and  would  not 
tolerate  unsanctioned  political  rallies  and  assemblies. 
Private  nonpolitical  groups,  such  as  professional 
organizations,  churches  and  sports  groups,  generally  require 
government  approval  and  licensing. 

There  are  no  labor  unions,  and  there  have  been  no  attempts  to 
organize  workers.   It  is  widely  recognized  that  the  Government 
would  not  permit  a  union  to  organize,  especially  in  the  cocoa, 
lumber,  and  coffee  sectors  which  constitute  the  main  economic 
resources.   There  is  no  significant  industry  in  Equatorial 
Guinea . 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Until  late  in  1985,  there  had  been  complete  freedom  of 
religion  in  predominantly  Roman  Catholic  Equatorial  Guinea. 
In  December  1985,  the  Jehovah's  Witnesses  and  several  small 
Pentecostal  groups  were  banned,  and  their  churches  and  meeting 
houses  closed  without  explanation.   In  1986  and  1987, 
Witnesses  were  placed  under  house  arrest,  harassed,  and 
reportedly  forced  to  do  manual  labor  despite  having  been 
neither  convicted  nor  charged  with  any  crime.   After  several 
unsuccessful  appeals,  10  noncitizen  Witness  missionaries  were 
expelled  from  the  country  in  September  and  October  1987,  and 
80  local  Witnesses  were  forbidden  to  practice  their  religion. 
Missionaries  of  several  other  faiths  are  still  active  and  have 
government  permission  for  their  activities. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

There  are  no  explicit  restrictions  on  travel  within  the 
country,  but  anyone  found  without  a  job  in  any  part  of  the 
country  except  his  own  town  or  village  is  subject  to  a  period 
of  forced  labor  and  obligatory  return  to  his  place  of  origin. 


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EQUATORIAL  GUINEA 

There  were  no  reports  of  any  additional  Guinean  refugees 
fleeing  the  country  in  1987,  but  a  large  number  of  refugees 
from  the  former  regime  continue  to  reside  in  Spain,  France, 
Cameroon,  and  Gabon.   Many  of  them  voice  fear  of  repression 
from  the  current  Government  if  they  return  and  allege  that 
their  passports  are  restricted  to  prevent  travel  back  to 
Equatorial  Guinea.   However,  the  poor  state  of  the  economy  is 
probably  the  main  reason  many  remain  abroad.   The  Government 
has  proclaimed  repeatedly  that  returnees  need  not  fear 
persecution  but  can  engage  in  political  activities  only  within 
the  sanctioned  system. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  have  only  a  hypothetical  right  to  change  their 
government  by  democratic  means.   President  Obiang  took  power 
in  1979  in  a  military  coup  that  toppled  the  Macias  regime  and 
used  the  1982  plebiscite,  which  involved  only  approval  or 
disapproval  of  the  Constitution,  to  declare  himself  President. 
He  will  face  reelection  in  1989  under  the  present  7-year  term 
established  by  the  Constitution.   Under  the  Constitution,  a 
partially  elected,  partially  appointed  National  Assembly  was 
chosen.   While  the  Assembly  includes  members  of  minority 
groups  and  is  theoretically  the  legislative  branch  of 
government,  it  is  powerless  to  take  any  action  not  sanctioned 
by  the  President  or  his  Council  of  Ministers.   According  to 
the  Constitution,  the  President  also  has  the  power  to  suspend 
virtually  all  rights  provided  for  in  the  Constitution  when  a 
threat  to  national  security  or  a  national  emergency  exists, 
and  the  President  himself  decides  when  such  a  threat  exists. 
He  has  not  done  so  yet. 

Only  members  of  the  PDEG  may  hold  public  office,  with  the 
selection  of  all  candidates  being  controlled  by  the  party.   In 
July  1987,  another  decree  mandated  that  all  adult  citizens  of 
Equatorial  Guinea  should  pay  dues  to  the  party,  whether  or  not 
they  are  members.   Deductions  are  made  from  wages  and  salaries 
for  deposit  into  the  party's  coffers.   In  October  the 
mandatory  payments  to  the  DPEG  were  fixed  at  3  percent  of 
every  adult's  salary  or  wage. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  has  denounced  and  reversed  the  savagery  of  the 
previous  regime.   It  is  willing  to  discuss  human  rights  issues 
with  international  organizations.   A  United  Nations  human 
rights  team  visited  Equatorial  Guinea  in  January  1986,  but  its 
report  had  still  not  been  released  at  the  end  of  1987.   There 
are  no  human  rights  groups  in  Equatorial  Guinea. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  law  states  that  both  sexes  and  all  tribal  groups  are  equal 
and  entitled  to  the  same  rights  and  privileges.   Members  of 
the  Fang  clans,  principally  the  Esangui,  comprise  more  than  70 
percent  of  the  population  and  dominate  life  in  Equatorial 
Guinea,  including  the  allocation  of  top  government  positions. 
The  Bubi  tribe  comprises  approximately  15  percent  of  the 
population  and  has  historically  been  the  majority  on  the 
island  of  Bioko,  where  the  capital  is  located.   Despite 
National  Assembly  elections  in  1983  which  returned  a 


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EQUATORIAL  GUINEA 

proportionate  number  of  Bubi  delegates,  they  have  little 
effective  political  voice  in  government.   Other  tribal  groups 
such  as  Playeros,  Fernandinos,  and  even  less  favored  Fang 
clans  are  similarly  discriminated  against  in  opportunities  for 
economic  and  social  advancement. 

For  a  variety  of  historical,  cultural,  and  economic  reasons, 
women  are  accorded  a  lower  social  status  than  men  and  have  a 
correspondingly  lower  status  and  influence  in  society  and 
government.   Social  tradition,  and  the  fact  that  wom.en  produce 
most  of  the  basic  staple  food  items,  keep  most  women  engaged 
in  agricultural  or  domestic  work.   Many  more  males  than 
females  enter  and  graduate  from  secondary  school.   Women  play 
only  a  minor  role  in  politics.   The  highest  positions  held  by 
women  are:   the  Vice  Ministers  of  Labor  and  Health,  mayors  of 
two  small  towns,  1  member  (out  of  60)  of  the  largely 
ceremonial  House  of  Representatives,  and  the  Presidential 
Adviser  for  Public  Health  and  Social  Action.   (The  wife  of  the 
President  fills  the  latter  position.) 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Even  when  paid,  salaries  ere  insufficient  for  ensuring  a 
decent  living,  and  many  must  take  second  jobs.   Equatorial 
Guinea  has  a  statutory  minimum  wage  of  roughly  $34  monthly  and 
an  average  wage  of  $68  monthly.   Government  working  conditions 
include  a  maximum  48-hour  workweek  with  a  full  day  of  rest 
each  week  .and  regularly  scheduled  holidays.   There  is  no 
effective  monitoring  of  work  hours  and  labor  conditions 
outside  of  the  Government.   The  minimum  age  for  employment  is 
16,  but  there  is  no  enforcement  of  this  law  outside  the 
cities,  and  children  of  various  ages  work,  as  necessary,  to 
help  support  their  families. 


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In  September  1987,  the  Provisional  Military  Government  of 
Socialist  Ethiopia  (PMGSE)  declared  itself  to  be  the  People's 
Democratic  Republic  of  Ethiopia  (PDRE) .   Mengistu  Haile  Mariam 
remains  the  effective  ruler,  and  the  "new"  Government  boasts  a 
Soviet-model  Constitution  which  formally  provides  for  a  wide 
range  of  protections  and  civil  liberties  for  its  citizens,  as 
well  as  an  elected  parliament,  the  Shengo.   In  reality. 
President  Mengistu  continues  to  exercise  complete  control  over 
the  majority  of  Ethiopians.   Mengistu  is  also  the  Commander-in- 
Chief  of  the  armed  forces,  the  ultimate  source  of  his  power  in 
the  country.   He  also  holds  the  top  post  of  General  Secretary 
in  the  Workers  Party  of  Ethiopia  (WPE),  established  September 
6,  1984,  as  the  nation's  only  political  party.   The  stated 
goal  of  the  party  is  to  transform  Ethiopia  into  a  Marxist/ 
Leninist  state. 

Ethiopia  deploys  the  largest  standing  army  in  Africa  south  of 
the  Sahara,  numbering  over  250,000  men.   It  uses  this  force 
primarily  to  pursue  military  solutions  to  the  armed 
insurgencies  of  varying  intensities  directed  against  the 
Government.   Ethiopia  also  supports  rebel  movements  fighting 
against  its  neighbors.   The  Government  has  an  extensive 
internal  security  apparatus  which  uses  a  comprehensive  system 
of  surveillance  and  informers,  including  the  kebeles  (urban 
neighborhood  associations)  at  the  neighborhood  level,  to 
maintain  its  control  over  the  population. 

The  PDRE  is  committed  to  a  centralized,  planned  economy  based 
on  "Socialist"  principles.   The  economy  currently  suffers  not 
only  from  civil  strife  (military  expenditures  take  20  percent 
of  the  budget),  but  also  from  ideological  constraints,  most 
visible  in  the  Government's  priority  of  funding  for  state 
farms  in  a  nation  of  small,  independent  farmers.   At  the  end 
of  1987,  new  drought  and  famine  gripped  Ethiopia. 

Ethiopia's  record  on  human  rights  remained  deplorable  in  1987, 
notwithstanding  adoption  of  the  new  Constitution  which  provides 
a  legal  basis  for  respect  for  human  rights.   The  Government 
continued  to  exercise  tight  control  over  political  processes, 
judicial  functions,  the  media,  labor,  and  education.   Both 
government  forces  and  members  of  longstanding  insurgent  groups, 
notably  in  Eritrea  and  Tigray,  committed  atrocities  against 
prisoners  and  civilian  populations.   During  1987  the  nationwide 
program  of  consolidating  rural  homesteads  in  new  villages 
continued,  often  by  implicit  threats  of  force,  and  was 
sanctioned  in  the  Constitution.   The  resettlement  program 
resumed  in  late  1987,  but  the  Government  promised  that  it 
would  be  on  a  modest  scale  and  on  a  purely  voluntary  basis. 
The  Government  unveiled  a  general  plan  aimed  at  ending  the 
insurgencies,  through  the  establishment  of  five  autonomous 
regions,  but  at  the  end  of  1987  details  of  the  plan  were 
lacking,  and  its  practicality  remained  to  be  tested. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reported  instances  of  extrajudicial  executions 
in  1987.   The  Government  has  come  to  rely  less  on  actual 
violence  and  more  on  the  latent  threat  of  violence  to  maintain 
political  control. 


97 

ETHIOPIA 

b.  Disappearance 

Although  the  Ethiopian  Government  increasingly  has  tolerated 
religious  activity  (the  new  Constitution  also  recognizes  the 
right  of  religious  freedom) ,  it  has  not  explained  the 
disappearance  between  1979  and  1985  of  a  number  of  religious 
leaders  and  lay  people,  including  the  Patriarch  of  the 
Ethiopian  Orthodox  Church  (1979),  the  leader  of  the  Ethiopian 
Evangelical  Mekane  Yesus  Church  (1979),  and  a  number  of 
Jehovah's  Witnesses.   Some  of  these  people  cannot  be  located 
and  are  presumed  to  have  been  executed  summarily  or  to  have 
died. 

The  well-publicized  disappearance  in  May  1986  of  the  Ethiopian 
Permanent  Representative  to  the  United  Nations  and  Ambassador 
to  Canada,  Berhanu  Dinka,  remains  unresolved  despite  pressure 
by  many  Western  governments  for  information  concerning  his 
whereabouts.   No  charges  are  known  to  have  been  filed  against 
him,  but  there  are  unconfirmed  reports  that  he  was  transferred 
in  July  1987  from  the  "Third  Police  Station"  (an  Addis  Ababa 
torture  and  interrogation  center)  to  the  so-called  "Gebi 
Prison"  in  the  basement  of  the  National  Palace. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  new  Constitution  notably  omits  the  passage  from  the  1955 
Constitution  prohibiting  cruel  and  inhuman  punishment.   The 
use  of  torture  by  the  Government  persisted  in  1987  but  has 
declined  from  the  levels  during  the  period  of  "revolutionary 
terror"  in  the  late  1970's. 

Torture  has  been  used  against  members  of  most  opposition 
groups,  both  those  opposed  for  ideological  reasons,  such  as 
the  radically  leftist  Ethiopian  People's  Revolutionary  Party 
(EPRP)  or  the  more  moderate  Ethiopian  People's  Democratic 
Alliance  (EPDA) ,  and  those  opposed  for  a  combination  of 
ideology  and  ethnic/regional  separatism,  such  as  the  Ethiopian 
People's  Liberation  Front  (EPLF)  in  Eritrea,  the  Tigray 
People's  Liberation  Front  in  Tigray,  and  the  Oromo  Liberation 
Front  among  the  Oromo.   The  EPRP  and  the  EPDA  have  no  open 
membership  within  Ethiopia  at  present,  and  the  Government 
seems  more  concerned  with  the  ethnic/regional  opposition 
groups.   Political  prisoners  are  initially  taken  to  central 
investigation  centers  operated  by  the  Ministry  of  Interior, 
such  as  the  Third  Police  Station  in  Addis  Ababa  cr  the  Mariam 
Gimki  Center  in  Asmara.   Interrogation  is  often  combined  with 
physical  abuse,  especially  for  those  suspected  of  affiliation 
with  an  opposition  or  insurgency  group. 

Common  methods  of  torture  include  prolonged  beating  on  the 
soles  of  the  feet,  prolonged  suspension  from  a  rope  in  a 
contorted  position,  death  threats,  mock  executions,  sleep 
deprivation,  and  submergence  to  the  point  of  unconsciousness 
in  tanks  of  dirty  water.   In  June  1986,  Amnesty  International 
(AI)  published  a  special  report,  "Political  Imprisonment  and 
Torture  in  Ethiopia,"  and  appealed  to  the  Ethiop: an 
Government,  inter  alia,  to  stop  torture  and  safecjuard 
prisoners  from  ill-treatment.   In  two  1986  cases  involving 
prosecutions  of  kebele  officials  for  torture,  AI  reported  the 
authorities  had  sentenced  14  kebele  officials  to  3-year  and 
life  imprisonment  terms,  while  another  received  the  death 
sentence. 


ETHIOPIA 

d.   Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

While  no  accurate  figures  are  available,  some  human  rights 
groups  outside  Ethiopia  estimate  that  the  Government  has 
incarcerated  as  many  as  3,000  people  for  political  reasons. 
Over  half  of  these  political  prisoners  have  not  been  formally 
charged  or  sentenced.   The  new  Constitution  sets  forth  certain 
civil  liberties  for  all  Ethiopians,  including  prohibition 
against  unreasonable  search  and  seizure  and  a  requirement  that 
arrested  citizens  be  arraigned  in  court  within  48  hours.   The 
Constitution  also  provides  for  arrest  warrants,  a  fair  trial, 
the  right  to  protection  against  self-incrimination,  and  the 
right  to  counsel.   These  constitutional  measures  became 
effective  on  September  12,  1987,  but  the  Government  has  yet  to 
take  any  steps  to  implement  them  or  to  extend  them  to  those 
already  imprisoned  at  the  time  they  came  into  effect. 
Widespread  expectations  of  a  general  amnesty  for  political 
prisoners  concurrently  with  the  establishment  of  the  PDRE  did 
not  materialize. 

Although  the  new  Constitution  emphasizes  the  seriousness  of 
any  treasonable  act,  it  does  not  specifically  limit  the  due 
process  rights  of  those  charged  with  offenses  against  the 
State.   Nevertheless,  Ethiopians  suspected  of  antigovernmental 
actions  or  sentiments  continue  to  be  subject  to  arrest  or 
detention  by  the  police  without  charge  or  judicial  review.   In 
politically  sensitive  arrests,  the  Government  generally  prefers 
to  operate  in  secret,  taking  the  suspect  from  home  at  night. 
In  most  cases,  political  detainees  are  held  incommunicado, 
without  charge  and  without  legal  representation,  at  least 
initially,  and  sometimes  for  the  length  of  their  term  of 
incarceration.   The  term  of  confinement  for  a  suspect  held 
without  legal  charge  is  subject  to  the  whim  of  the  detaining 
official  or  agent.   Some  prisoners  continue  to  be  held  without 
charge  13  years  after  their  detention. 

In  1987  about  25  people  were  arrested  in  Addis  Ababa,  Dire 
Dawa,  and  Gondar,  reportedly  after  arranging  for  the 
surreptitious  departure  of  Jews  from  Ethiopia.   At  the  end  of 
1987,  they  had  not  been  charged  or  tried,  and  AI  cited  reports 
that  several  of  them  had  been  tortured. 

Arbitrary  arrest  is  not  limited  to  the  politically  suspect. 
Even  people  with  no  record  of  political  activity  or  political 
affiliations  have  been  arrested  and  detained  for  months  or 
longer  without  explanation.   In  March  1987,  the  Government 
detained  an  estimated  3,000  to  5,000  unemployed  Addis  Ababa 
residents  suspected  of  street  crime.   Those  whose  kebeles 
would  not  vouch  for  them  were  transported  to  a  "resettlement" 
site  in  the  countryside. 

Ethiopia  has  generated  the  largest  number  of  refugees  in 
Africa.   There  are  more  than  1  million  Ethiopian  refugees 
living  in  neighboring  countries,  and  tens  of  thousands,  many 
of  whom  cannot  return  to  Ethiopia  for  fear  of  persecution, 
living  abroad. 

There  is  no  information  that  forced  labor  is  practiced  in 
Ethiopia.   However,  on  the  demand  of  the  kebele  officials, 
citizens  are  required  to  "volunteer"  their  services  for 
frequent  community  work  programs.   Workers  are  also  expected 
to  "volunteer"  to  work  extra  hours  and  weekends,  at  no  pay,  so 
that  factory  quotas  can  be  met. 


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e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

In  the  PDRE  there  continues  to  be  no  real  separation  between 
the  executive  branch  and  the  judiciary.   Courts  are  subject  to 
political  control  and  are  responsive  to  the  requirements  of 
Ethiopia's  leadership.   The  modern  court  system  has  a  Supreme 
Court  at  the  apex  and  includes  magistrate  courts  and  a  Special 
Court  of  Appeal.   While  the  civil  court  system  operates 
relatively  independently  of  politics,  the  criminal  court 
system  is  more  open  to  political  manipulation.   The  special 
courts  established  for  trying  political  crimes  against  the 
State  were  abolished  with  the  adoption  of  the  new  Constitution 
in  February  1987.   The  recent  consolidation  of  the  Ministry  of 
Interior  and  Ministry  of  Public  Security  into  a  single  ministry 
under  the  former  head  of  Public  Security  implies  a  continuing, 
overriding  priority  for  state  security  regardless  of 
constitutional  provisions  for  humane  judicial  procedures. 

AI  and  Western  governments  continue  to  press  the  PDRE  to  bring 
charges  against,  or  to  release,  all  political  prisoners, 
including  the  10  remaining  members  of  the  royal  family 
detained  since  the  Revolution.   When  political  trials  do  take 
place,  they  are  almost  always  held  in  secret  with  only  the 
verdict  (if  even  that)  publicly  announced.   Prisoners  cleared 
of  charges  or  whose  terms  have  been  completed  are  not  always 
promptly  released  from  prisons. 

In  practice,  the  right  to  a  fair  public  trial  is  observed  and 
respected  in  civil  and  criminal  cases  of  a  nonpolitical  nature. 
These  cases  generally  are  based  upon  the  submission  of  evidence 
in  a  public  setting.   Minor  cases  are  tried  at  the  kebele 
level,  while  more  serious  criminal  accusations  are  tried  in 
courts  where  the  accused  has  access  to  court-appointed  lawyers. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  Constitution  provides  for  the  "inviolability  of  the  house" 
and  protects  against  unlawful  entry  into  private  homes.   In 
reality,  as  in  the  past,  warrants  are  not  used  for  searches  of 
offices  or  private  homes.   However,  the  number  of  incidents  of 
forced  entry  by  government  forces,  which  are  often  related  to 
enforcing  military  call-ups,  appeared  to  decrease  in  1987, 
including  in  homes  in  regions  of  insurrection. 

Although  the  practice  is  generally  decreasing,  surveillance  of 
persons,  both  visual  or  through  use  of  listening  devices, 
continues  with  no  legal  restraints.   All  mail  is  subject  to 
government  monitoring.   Ethiopian  citizens  can  be  called  in  at 
any  time  for  questioning  by  authorities  and  for  mandatory 
kebele  meetings,  political  rallies,  or  marches.   Refusal  to 
appear  for  any  of  the  above  may  result  in  imprisonment  without 
hearing . 

Local  kebele  association  officials  monitor  urban  Ethiopians, 
whereas  peasant  association  leaders  perform  the  same  function 
in  the  countryside.   These  officials  monitor  visitors 
received,  items  brought  in  and  out  of  houses,  any  meetings, 
and  adherence  to  local  curfews.   Such  surveillance  and  petty 
interference  in  the  private  lives  of  Ethiopian  citizens  is 
very  much  dependent  on  the  makeup  of  the  kebele  and  its 
leadership . 

Government  proclamations  designed  to  enforce  Socialist 
patterns  of  work  make  it  illegal  for  a  private  farmer  to 


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employ  laborers  on  his  farm  or  to  own  more  than  one  home. 
Such  proclamations,  however,  are  apparently  ignored  in  some 
remote  areas  of  the  country. 

The  Government's  forced  resettlement  program  which  was  halted 
following  an  international  outcry  late  in  1985,  was  rife  with 
abuses,  including  the  wholesale  separation  of  families  and 
inhumane  conditions  of  transport  to  resettlement  sites  up  to 
700  kilometers  distant.   There  were  reports  in  1987  that  up  to 
100,000  persons  had  returned  to  their  native  provinces. 
Nevertheless,  an  affirmation  of  the  Government's  commitment  to 
resettlement  is  incorporated  in  Article  10  of  the  new 
Constitution,  which  protects  the  Government's  right  to  "ensure 
that  human  settlement  patterns  correspond  to  the  distribution 
of  natural  resources."   In  accordance  with  this  commitment, 
the  Government  late  in  1987  resumed  the  resettlement  program, 
announcing  plans  to  resettle  300,000  people  in  1  year.   By  the 
end  of  1987,  however,  only  a  few  hundred  people  had  been 
resettled.   Preliminary  reports  indicated  that  these  people 
had  volunteered  for  resettlement  to  escape  the  drought,  that 
families  had  been  resettled  as  a  unit,  that  they  had  been 
transported  in  buses  adequate  to  the  task,  and  that  the 
resettlement  sites  were  prepared  to  receive  them. 

Progress  was  made  in  1987  to  reunite  unaccompanied 
children/orphans  with  their  families.   Of  the  estimated  17,000 
unaccompanied  children/orphans  who  were  a  byproduct  of  drought 
and  resettlement,  the  Ethiopian  Relief  and  Rehabilitation 
Commission  has  placed  9,137  with  family  members.   Although  the 
reunification  effort  continues,  the  Commission  estimates  that 
it  may  be  impossible  to  locate  the  families  of  about  3,000 
children. 

The  Government's  mandatory  "vi llagization"  campaign,  which 
collects  scattered  rural  farmers  into  newly  created  villages, 
continued  in  1987.   It  is  sanctioned  under  Article  10, 
Sub-Article  3  of  the  Constitution,  which  states  that  "the 
State  shall  encourage  the  scattered  rural  population  to 
aggregate  in  order  to  change  their  backward  living  condition 
and  to  enable  them  to  lead  a  better  life."   According  to  the 
Government,  5,726,530  Ethiopians  had  been  moved  into  such 
villages  as  of  February  1987  (15  percent  of  the  rural 
population).   The  Government  has  announced  plans  that  call  for 
31  percent  of  the  rural  population  to  be  moved  into  villages 
by  July  1988.   Rural  farmers  cannot  avoid  participating  in  the 
program,  and  to  date  almost  everyone  living  in  areas  scheduled 
for  vi llagization  has  been  moved  into  the  new  settlements. 
The  program  has  proceeded  in  the  Gondar  region  despite  some 
scattered  antigovernment  violence  in  opposition  to  the  program 
early  in  1987.   The  Government  has  devoted  few  resources  to 
this  large  program,  so  farmers  must  dismantle  their  own 
houses,  transport  them  to  the  government-selected  village 
site,  and  reassemble  them.   Social  services  such  as  schools, 
new  roads,  or  clinics,  though  promised,  are  rare.   The 
Government  has  repeatedly  stated  that  this  program  is  a 
precursor  to  collectivization  of  Ethiopia's  agriculture. 
Despite  this  goal,  over  90  percent  of  agriculture  is  still  on 
an  individual  family  basis. 

g.   Violations  of  Humanitarian  Law  in  Armed  Conflicts 

In  1987  armed  conflict  between  government  and  various 
opposition  forces  continued  in  many  parts  of  the  country, 
especially  in  the  regions  of  Tigray  and  Eritrea.   In  previous 
years,  there  were  some  reports  from  insurgent  areas  of  summary 
executions  of  combatants  and  civilians  by  both  government 


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forces  and  rebel  groups.   No  specific  instances  were  recorded 
in  1987.   While  in  previous  years  there  were  instances  of 
relief  workers  in  insurgent  areas  being  killed,  no  incidents 
occurred  in  1987.   However,  a  guerrilla  group  detained  a 
Western  humanitarian  relief  worker  in  October  1987;  she  was 
released  in  neighboring  Sudan  in  November.   Another  guerrilla 
group  seized  two  Western  contractors  working  at  a  village 
settlement  scheme  in  November  1987;  they  had  not  been  released 
by  the  end  of  the  year.   Guerrilla  forces  continued 
indiscriminate  mining  of  roadways  as  a  battle  tactic. 
Government  and  insurgent  forces  reportedly  destroyed  crops  and 
homes  in  their  opponents'  areas. 

On  October  23,  1987  insurgent  forces  attacked  and  burned 
without  warning  an  unarmed  and  unescorted  famine  relief 
column,  destroying  23  late-model  trucks  traveling  to  food 
distribution  centers  in  Eritrea  and  Tigray.   One  driver  was 
killed,  and  400  tons  of  wheat,  enough  to  feed  40,000  people 
for  a  month,  was  destroyed.   This  incident  challenged  the 
famine  relief  effort,  particularly  to  regions  which  insurgents 
claim  to  dominate.   The  temporary  severance  of  crucial 
transport  links  increased  the  possibility  of  famine  afflicting 
hundreds  of  thousands  of  civilians. 

The  number  and  treatment  of  prisoners  held  by  government 
forces  and  rebel  groups  are  not  known.   Some  reports  indicate 
that  the  treatment  of  PDRE  prisoners  by  some  guerrilla  forces 
generally  has  been  good.   The  Government  apparently  does  not 
recognize  those  rebels  captured  in  battle  as  prisoners  of  war, 
but  rather  classifies  them  as  guilty  of  treason  and  either 
executes  or  imprisons  them.   The  Government  considers  its  own 
soldiers  captured  by  insurgent  forces  as  deserters  who  merit 
execution,  imprisonment,  or  immediate  reassignment  to  the  war 
front  if  returned.   The  Government  prevents  relief 
organizations  from  providing  communications  with  families  of 
the  PDRE  prisoners  in  rebel  hands.   Of  the  insurgent  groups, 
only  the  EPLF  has  begun  to  allow  the  International  Committee 
of  the  Red  Cross  (ICRC)  limited  access  to  some  of  its 
prisoners . 

In  addition,  the  Ethiopian-Somalia  conflict  continued  to 
simmer  in  1987.   The  PDRE  has  permitted  the  ICRC  to  visit  230 
of  its  Somali  prisoners  of  war,  who  were  captured  during  the 
1977  war  between  the  two  countries. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

There  is  no  freedom  of  speech  or  press  in  Ethiopia.   The 
Government  owns  and  operates  all  information  media  and 
exercises  censorship  through  editorial  boards  and  the  Ministry 
of  Information.   Expression  of  unauthorized  political  opinions 
or  of  views  at  variance  with  the  official  government  line  can 
result  in  imprisonment.   Political,  economic,  and  social 
policies  in  Ethiopia  are  formulated  at  top  levels  of 
government,  then  disseminated  and  monitored  through  the 
government-controlled  media  and  government-organized  citizen 
groups . 

The  Government  closely  monitors  the  pronouncements  of  public 
officials,  academics,  and  clergy.   Some  instructors  and 
professors  in  secondary  schools  and  at  the  university  have 


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resisted  the  politicization  of  education.   Academic  freedom, 
although  seriously  circumscribed,  especially  in  the  political 
and  social  sciences,  still  finds  limited  expression  at  the 
university.   In  October  1987,  students  at  two  University  of 
Addis  Ababa  campuses  demonstrated  against  dormitory  living 
conditions  and  the  removal  of  the  dean  of  students.   About  10 
students  were  arrested  for  their  alleged  leadership  role  in 
the  demonstrations  but  released  a  short  time  later. 

Books  and  magazines  can  be  confiscated  if  deemed  to  contain 
sentiments  opposed  to  the  revolution.   Foreign  magazines  and 
newspapers  are  not  readily  available  since  foreign  exchange  is 
not  granted  to  purchase  them.   Foreign  radio  broadcasts  are 
widely  listened  to  in  Ethiopia.   There  is  no  evidence  of  overt 
attempts  by  the  Government  to  interfere  with  radio  reception. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Notwithstanding  constitutional  provisions,  assembly  of  any 
sort  not  previously  approved  by  the  Government  is  strictly 
forbidden  under  penalty  of  arrest.   In  contrast,  attendance  at 
government-sponsored  rallies,  meetings,  and  parades  is 
frequently  mandatory  and  enforced  by  a  wide  range  of 
sanctions.    Ethiopians,  traditionally  cautious  in  their 
associations  with  one  another  and  with  foreigners,  have  become 
even  more  so  under  the  present  regime.   There  is  a  pervasive 
system  of  informers  and  surveillance.   Frequent  or  close 
association  with  foreigners  can  result  in  questioning,  arrest, 
and  detention.   Professional  associations,  such  as  the  Rotary 
and  Lions  clubs,  are  allowed  to  operate,  though  their 
membership  and  activities  presumably  are  monitored  by  the 
Government.   Trade  and  professional  associations  were 
reorganized  in  1986  by  order  of  the  Workers  Party  of 
Ethiopia.   New  boards  were  selected  for  these  groups  from 
members  approved  by  the  party. 

Workers  are  not  permitted  to  organize  independently  in 
Ethiopia,  and  labor/management  negotiations  are  strictly 
controlled.   Collective  bargaining  does  not  exist.   Strikes 
and  slowdowns  are  forbidden.   The  only  labor  organization 
allowed  to  operate  is  the  government-controlled  All-Ethiopia 
Trade  Union  (AETU) .   The  AETU,  one  of  Ethiopia's  mass 
organizations,  is  a  political  group  used  by  the  Government  to 
implement  its  policies,  expand  party  control  within  the 
workplace,  and  prevent  work  stoppages.   Many  of  AETU's  top 
leaders  have  been  trained  in  Eastern  Europe,  and  the 
organization  has  close  ties  to  Soviet  and  Eastern  European 
labor  organizations.   The  1985  report  of  the  International 
Labor  Organization  (ILO)  Committee  of  Experts  criticized  the 
mandatory,  single  trade  union  structure  in  Ethiopia  and 
repeated  its  request  that  freedom  of  association  be  granted  to 
rural  workers  and  public  servants. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Despite  government  attempts  to  deemphasize  the  importance  of 
religion  in  Ethiopian  life  and  to  ensure  Orthodox  Church 
conformance  with  party  policies,  there  has  been  a  notable 
resurgence  in  recent  years  in  religious  observance  and  church 
attendance.   The  Government  allows  the  Orthodox  Church  and  the 
Muslim  religion  (each  claims  about  50  percent  of  Ethiopia's 
population)  freedom  of  worship  and  proselytism,  as  stipulated 
in  the  new  Constitution.   The  Government  has  appointed  some 
officials  to  the  Orthodox  Church  administration  to  ensure 
church  conformity  with  party  policies.   Party  members  are 


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prohibited  from  worshiping,  but  this  ban  is  not  enforced. 
According  to  press  reports,  kebeles  often  discourage  church 
attendance,  generally  by  scheduling  mandatory  meetings  on 
Sunday  mornings.  The  Government  nationalized  most  church 
property  when  it  took  power,  and  the  church  reportedly  is 
dependent  on  annual  government  compensation  payments  to  cover 
clergy  salaries. 

Orthodox  and  Muslim  holidays  are  recognized  by  the  Government, 
and  officials  of  both  religions  are  allowed  to  exercise 
jurisdiction  over  civil  matters  such  as  marriage.   However, 
the  Government  expunges  references  to  any  deity  from  dialog  in 
television  programs  and  films  and  forbids  such  references  in 
government  statements  or  publications. 

Some  other  religions,  particularly  foreign  Protestant 
evangelical  organizations,  which  found  their  activities 
sharply  curtailed  following  the  revolution,  have  experienced  a 
general  trend  of  greater  tolerance  by  central  and  local 
government  officials  over  the  last  2  years.   Local  government 
officials  allowed  a  number  of  churches  that  had  been  closed  to 
reopen.   In  1986  a  number  of  church  officials  were  released 
from  detention  including  the  General  Secretary  of  the 
Mennonite  Church  (who  had  been  detained  since  1981)  and 
leaders  of  the  Ethiopian  Evangelical  Mekane  Yesu  church.   The 
Government  gives  permits  to  foreign  missionaries  to  enter  and 
work  in  Ethiopia  in  limited  numbers,  although  ostensibly  as 
development  specialists,  not  as  missionaries.   The  Jehovah's 
Witnesses,  however,  remain  totally  banned. 

Ethiopia's  small  Jewish  community  (the  Falashas)  live  in  areas 
of  insurgency  (Tigray,  Gondor) .   Stories  of  "genocidal" 
actions  by  Ethiopian  authorities  or  of  highly  brutal  behavior 
toward  Ethiopian  Jews  have  not  been  substantiated  by  American 
visitors  to  these  areas.   Jews  do  suffer  some  economic 
discrimination,  a  holdover  from  prerevolutionary  practices. 
During  1987  the  Government  continued  to  permit  foreign 
visitors,  including  groups  of  American  Jews,  relatively 
unrestricted  access  to  Falasha  communities  in  the  Gondar 
region.   These  communities  also  continued  to  receive 
assistance  from  the  U.S.  Government  and  private  sources. 
Large  numbers  of  Ethiopian  Jews  have  surreptitiously  left  the 
country  in  recent  years.   The  Government  has  attempted  to 
block  this  exodus  as  part  of  its  overall  antiemigration  policy 
(see  Section  l.d.).   Those  who  have  left  Ethiopia  are  not 
permitted  to  return  to  visit  family  members,  and  family 
members  (as  with  non-Jewish  Ethiopians)  are  generally  not 
permitted  to  emigrate  on  the  basis  of  family  reunification. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Although  the  new  Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of  movement 
and  the  freedom  to  change  one's  place  of  residence  within 
Ethiopia,  actual  government  practice  is  quite  restrictive. 
Travel  within  Ethiopia  is  limited  as  a  result  of  the 
insurgencies  (several  areas,  mainly  in  the  northern 
administrative  zones,  are  closed  to  travel  for  security 
reasons).   Permission  is  required  for  Ethiopian  citizens  to 
change  their  place  of  residence,  and  persons  considered 
politically  suspect  can  be  forbidden  to  travel  outside  their 
home  areas.   Travel  abroad  by  Ethiopians  is  closely  controlled 
by  the  Government  through  the  issuance  of  passports  and 
mandatory  exit  visas.   Passport  applications  require  a  letter 
of  recommendation  from  the  appropriate  kebele  head.   Foreigners 


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ETHIOPIA 

in  Ethiopia  have  always  been  required  to  obtain  a  travel  permit 
for  internal  travel.   In  1987  they  occasionally  were  denied 
that  permission,  although  most  representatives  of  the  United 
Nations  and  of  foreign  assistance  programs  and  embassies, 
including  U.S.  officials,  have  been  able  to  obtain  permits  to 
travel  in  connection  with  their  assistance  programs. 

Emigration  is  highly  restricted,  except  in  special 
circumstances  such  as  marriage  to  or  adoption  by  a  foreign 
national.   Leaving  Ethiopia  without  authorization  is  a  serious 
offense  punishable  by  5  to  15  years'  imprisonment  or,  in 
exceptional  cases,  reportedly  by  death.   Nonetheless, 
considerable  illegal  emigration  occurs  either  under  the 
subterfuge  of  travel  abroad  for  business  or  to  visit 
relatives,  or  by  arduous  treks  overland  and  surreptitious 
crossing  of  borders. 

The  Government  recognizes  the  right  of  voluntary  repatriation, 
and  its  proclamation  of  mass  amnesty  for  Ethiopians  living 
abroad  (numbering  more  than  1  million)  remains  in  effect. 
From  1983  to  1987,  according  to  figures  provided  by  the  U.N. 
High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  (UNHCR) ,  approximately  750,000 
Ethiopians  spontaneously  returned  to  Ethiopia  from  Sudan, 
Djibouti,  and  Somalia.   Most  of  the  returnees  were  rural 
people  who  returned  spontaneously;  the  outflow  of  refugees 
during  the  same  period  was  about  550,000.   The  PDRE  supports 
UNHCR  repatriation  programs,  which  have  successfully 
repatriated  3,397  Ethiopians  from  Djibouti  since  late  1986  and 
approximately  5,500  Ethiopians  from  Somalia  during  the  same 
period.   Many  of  the  returnees  benefited  from  UNHCR 
assistance.   There  is  no  evidence  that  they  were  mistreated  or 
discriminated  against  upon  their  return. 

There  have  been  no  reports  of  the  Government  forcibly 
repatriating  refugees  from  other  countries. 

As  a  result  of  the  civil  war  in  southern  Sudan,  an  estimated 
103,000  Sudanese  refugees  entered  Ethiopia  in  1987,  bringing 
the  total  number  of  Sudanese  refugees  to  about  225,000.   The 
Ethiopian  Government  also  reports  that  it  has  received  at 
least  10,000  asylum  seekers  from  Somalia. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  of  Ethiopia  are  not  free  to  change  the  government. 
In  fact,  the  new  Constitution  institutionalizes  all  power  in 
the  Workers  Party  of  Ethiopia  (WPE) ,  the  President,  his 
advisors,  and  the  new  Council  of  State.   Political  and 
economic  policies  are  still  dictated  to  the  population  with 
little  opportunity  for  public  debate. 

To  give  a  semblance  of  democracy  to  the  newly  organized 
administration,  the  Government  sponsored  a  referendum  to 
approve  the  new  Constitution  and  an  election  to  choose  the 
members  of  the  835-member  national  Shengo  (one-chamber 
parliament)  from  slates  of  candidates  approved  by  the  WPE. 
Following  public  discussion  meetings  held  throughout  the 
country,  the  People's  Review  Board  made  several  changes  in  the 
draft  Constitution.   Eighty  percent  of  those  voting  reportedly 
voted  in  favor  of  the  new  Constitution. 

The  WPE  and  its  "mass  organizations"  purport  to  offer  Ethiopian 
citizens  a  means  of  participation  in  government,  but  its  real 
role  is  to  ensure  adherence  to  Marxist/Leninist  principles. 


105 


ETHIOPIA 

The  WPE,  like  its  Soviet  counterpart,  is  an  exclusive 
group--not  everyone  can  join.   Some,  such  as  higher-level 
government  officials,  are  required  to  join  if  they  wish  to 
keep  their  jobs.   Kebeles,  the  primary  party/government 
control  mechanisms  at  the  local  level,  control  housing 
allocation,  basic  food  rationing,  political  indoctrination, 
and  implementation  of  other  government  policies,  such  as 
registration  and  selection  of  youths  for  national  military 
service. 

The  new  Constitution  mandates  the  formation  of  assemblies 
(shengos)  in  the  various  regions  including  in  the  five  newly 
created  autonomous  regions.   Under  the  autonomy  plan,  the 
Assembly  of  the  Eritrean  Autonomous  Region  is  to  have  the 
exclusive  right  to  promulgate  and  enforce  its  own  laws  so  long 
as  they  do  not  conflict  with  national  laws.   The  assemblies  of 
the  other  four  autonomous  regions,  Assab,  Tigray,  Dire  Dawa , 
and  Ogaden,  would  require  permission  from  the  central 
government  in  order  to  formulate  their  own  laws.   The 
Constitution  also  lists  a  number  of  responsibilities  reserved 
for  the  regional  assemblies  and  their  executive  committees, 
including  the  preparation  of  social  and  economic  plans  and 
budgets  for  approval  by  the  national  Shengo .   The  PDRE  hopes 
the  autonomy  plan  will  serve  as  the  basis  for  a  political 
solution  to  the  various  internal  insurgencies,  but 
implementation  has  not  really  begun. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  resists  attempts  by  international  and 
nongovernmental  organizations  to  investigate  human  rights 
cases.   It  did  not  respond,  for  example,  to  AI ' s  various 
inquiries  in  1986,  such  as  on  the  reported  use  of  torture. 
There  is  no  governmental  or  private  body  to  investigate 
alleged  human  rights  violations.   Representatives  of  the  ICRC 
in  Addis  Ababa  are  allowed  to  visit  some  of  the  prisoners  of 
war  from  the  1977-78  war  with  Somalia.   The  ICRC  does  not  have 
access  to  prisoners  held  by  Ethiopian-backed  rebel  groups 
opposing  the  Governments  of  Sudan  and  Somalia.   Ethiopia  is 
not  a  signatory  to  any  of  the  United  Nations'  human  rights 
documents  or  the  African  Charter  of  Human  and  Peoples'  Rights. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  Constitution  provides  for  the  equality  of  all  Ethiopians 
irrespective  of  nationality,  sex,  religion,  occupation,  social 
or  other  status.   The  highest  government  echelons  are  no 
longer  dominated  by  the  Amhara  ethnic  group  but  include  many 
Oromos  and  a  few  Eritreans  and  Tigreans.   Almost  all  senior 
government  and  political  figures  are  of  Christian  origin, 
although  the  population  is  approximately  50  percent  Muslim. 

While  the  rights  of  women  are  protected  and  promised 
additional  government  support  by  the  Constiutution,  sexual 
discrimination  persists.   Various  U.N.  studies  indicate 
Ethiopian  women  are  subject  to  many  disadvantages, 
encountering,  among  other  things,  cultural  and  traditional 
biases,  marriages  imposed  at  a  very  young  age,  hard  and 
time-consuming  labor,  inadequate  employment  opportunities,  and 
subaverage  wages  in  urban  areas.   Village  leadership  is 
invariably  male,  and  all  clergy  are  male.   However,  women  in 
the  principal  Ethiopian  cultures  (Oromo,  Amhara,  Eritrea,  and 


106 


ETHIOPIA 

Tigray)  enjoy  economic  rights  equal  to  those  of  men.   They  may 
inherit,  sell,  or  buy  property  and  engage  in  business.   In 
some  rural  areas,  women  have  a  subservient  status  within  the 
home,  and  child  marriages  remain  common,  despite  opposition  by 
the  Government.   Long-established  practices,  such  as  female 
circumcision  remain  prevalent  despite  government  opposition 
among  Ethiopian  Orthodox  and  Muslim  families  and  is  less 
common  with  some  other  groups. 

The  Revolutionary  Ethiopian  Women's  Association,  a  mass 
organization  created  in  1980,  has  the  proclaimed  goal  of 
improving  the  status  of  women.   Women  are  poorly  represented 
at  the  top  echelons  of  government.   There  are,  however,  46 
female  members  in  the  835-member  Shengo. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

The  new  Constitution  recognizes  in  principal  the  right  to  work 
and  to  rest.   Given  high  unemployment,  there  is  pressure  for 
existing  jobs  in  the  modern  economy.   Accordingly,  the  minimum 
age  of  14  for  nonfarm  labor  seems  to  be  respected.   The 
maximum  legal  workweek  of  48  hours  also  is  generally  respected 
in  practice,  but,  as  noted,  there  is  much  volunteer  labor  to 
meet  factory  or  office  quotas,  and  government  workers  receive 
little  of  their  promised  time  off.   Health  and  safety  codes 
for  the  workplace  are  rudimentary  and  remain  unenforced. 

The  minimum  wage  in  Ethiopia  is  about  $24  per  month. 
Additional  allowances  effectively  raise  the  minimum  wage  of  a 
full-time  employee  to  about  $34.   Day  laborers  in  the 
agricultural  sector  receive  almost  $1  per  day  plus  some 
payment  in  kind  (shelter  or  a  meal,  for  example).   Day 
laborers  in  the  urban  areas  receive  almost  $1.50  per  day  plus 
transportation  to  and  from  the  workplace.   The  minimum  wage 
has  been  under  review  for  some  time  without  decision. 


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GABON 


Gabon  has  a  single-party  political  system  in  which  effective 
political  power  is  concentrated  in  the  presidency.   That 
office  has  been  held  since  1967  by  President  Omar  Bongo,  who 
is  also  head  of  the  party.   A  March  1983  amendment  to  the 
party  constitution  restricts  candidacy  in  future  presidential 
elections  to  the  "President-Founder  of  the  Democratic  Party  of 
Gabon,"  thus  reserving  presidential  candidacy  for  President 
Bongo.   He  was  reelected  President  on  November  9,  1986.   In 
practice,  presidential  power  is  limited  by  the  complexity  of 
the  governmental  structure  and  the  diffusion  of  power  through 
45  cabinet-level  officials  led  by  a  prime  minister.   A 
120-member  National  Assembly  is  elected  from  slates  chosen  by 
the  single  party  and  meets  regularly,  but  it  has  little  real 
power . 

Although  still  a  developing  country,  Gabon  has  one  of  the 
highest  per  capita  incomes  (about  $3,000  in  1987)  in 
sub-Saharan  Africa  due  to  its  significant  petroleum  and 
mineral  resources  and  its  small  population.   While  income 
distribution  is  skewed  in  favor  of  the  modern  urban  sector  as 
opposed  to  the  traditional  agricultural  sector,  most  Gabonese 
have  benefited  in  some  measure  from  the  country's  strong 
economy.   Nevertheless,  the  drop  in  world  oil  prices  beginning 
in  late  1985  has  led  to  a  sharp  contraction  in  the  economy 
which  will  likely  continue  in  1988.   In  general,  economic 
performance  has  benefited  from  longstanding  government 
policies  supporting  private  enterprise  and  encouraging  foreign 
investment . 

There  was  no  basic  change  in  the  human  rights  situation  in 
1987.   The  country's  1961  Constitution  guarantees  protection 
and  respect  for  the  integrity  of  the  person  and,  with  isolated 
exceptions,  these  rights  are  respected  in  practice.   Political 
rights,  however,  are  not  guaranteed  under  the  Constitution, 
and  active  political  opposition  to  the  sole  legal  party  is  not 
permitted.   There  is  no  evidence  of  systematic  police  or  other 
repression  of  the  population.   Gabon  released  the  last  of  its 
political  prisoners  in  1985.   A  number  of  Jehovah's  Witnesses, 
arrested  in  late  1986  for  attending  services,  received  short 
or  suspended  sentences  and  fines  in  1987.   The  sect  has  been 
banned  since  1970  for  alleged  antigovernment  attitudes. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  known  political  killings  or  summary  executions. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  known  cases  of  abductions  or  hostage-taking  by 
government  o'r  any  other  groups.   The  authorities  are  sometimes 
slow  to  advise  the  families  of  accused  criminals  or  detainees 
who  are  arrested,  but  there  has  been  no  evidence  of  attempts 
to  suppress  news  of  an  arrest. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

In  past  years  the  political  opposition  group,  the  Movement  for 
National  Recovery  (MORENA) ,  based  in  Paris,  alleged  that 


108 


GABON 

several  people  detained  in  the  Libreville  prison  on  political 
charges  were  mistreated  or  kept  in  degrading  conditions. 
However,  family  members  reported  no  serious  mistreatment,  and 
these  allegations  have  not  been  repeated  in  the  last  several 
years.   Police  are  believed  to  be  rough  but  not  brutal  in 
their  treatment  of  suspected  criminals.   Prison  conditions  are 
harsh. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

In  Gabon,  "acts  against  the  security  of  the  State"  and 
"actions  against  the  Chief  of  State,"  which  can  include 
advocating  a  multiparty  system,  are  punishable  crimes.   There 
were  no  reports  in  1987  of  detention  without  trial  of  persons 
accused  of  violations  of  criminal  law.   Gabonese  law,  amended 
in  September  1983  and  ratified  by  the  National  Assembly  early 
in  1984,  provides  guarantees  against  arbitrary  detention 
according  to  clearly  articulated  judicial  procedure  which  is 
observed  in  practice.   Previously,  there  was  no  legal 
protection  against  arbitrary  detention. 

Forced  labor  is  not  used  as  a  means  of  political  coercion  or 
racial  or  social  discrimination.   Some  prison  sentences  for 
serious  crimes  include  hard  labor  as  part  of  the  sentence. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  legal  system,  based  upon  French  law,  customary  law,  and 
the  1961  Constitution,  gives  the  President  a  powerful  role  and 
functions  fairly  effectively.   The  right  to  a  fair  public 
trial  is  guaranteed  by  the  Constitution  and  has  generally  been 
respected  in  practice  in  criminal  cases.   In 
security/political  cases,  however,  there  has  been  more 
controversy  and  inconsistency.   A  1982  trial  of  29  alleged 
members  of  MORENA  took  place  in  public  with  representatives  of 
the  international  press  and  Amnesty  International  present, 
while  a  1983  trial  of  four  political  dissidents  took  place  in 
secret.   The  charges  leveled  against  the  accused  were 
basically  the  same  in  both  cases,  namely,  printing  and 
distributing  antigovernment  tracts  and  encouraging  the 
Government  of  France  to  use  its  influence  in  Gabon  to  bring 
about  a  multiparty  political  system.   No  known  political 
prisoners  are  currently  being  held.   All  those  convicted  in 
the  1982  trial  were  granted  full  pardons  by  President  Bongo  on 
June  19,  1986.   In  1987  President  Bongo  continued  the  practice 
of  commuting  prison  sentences  on  New  Year's  day  for 
well-behaved  first  offenders  who  were  not  convicted  of  first 
degree  murder  or  armed  robbery.   Life  terms  were  reduced  to  20 
years,  and  most  other  terms  were  cut  in  half. 

The  Gabonese  court  system  is  modeled  on  the  French  judicial 
system.   Trial  courts  hear  questions  of  fact  and  law  in  civil, 
commercial,  social,  criminal,  and  administrative  cases.   A 
second  level  of  appeals  courts  is  divided  into  two  general 
appellate  courts,  with  a  separate  appeals  court  for  criminal 
cases.   Gabon's  highest  judicial  body,  the  Supreme  Court,  is 
divided  into  four  chambers.   There  are  also  three  exceptional 
courts:   a  military  tribunal  which  handles  all  military 
offenses,  a  state  security  court,  and  a  special  criminal  court 
which  deals  with  fraud  and  embezzlement  of  public  funds  by 
officials. 

The  judiciary  is  implicitly  susceptible  to  executive 
influence,  since  Gabon's  Constitution  gives  the  President  the 
authority  to  appoint,  transfer,  and  dismiss  judicial  officials. 


109 


GABON 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  various  police  and  security  units  monitor  alleged  dissident 
political  activity,  including  dissident  telephone 
conversations,  but  interference  in  the  daily  life  of  the 
populace  is  relatively  rare. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

There  are  limits  on  these  rights  in  Gabon.   No  direct  public 
criticism  of  President  Bongo  is  permitted,  and  no  advocacy  of  a 
multiparty  political  system  by  the  media  or  individuals  is 
tolerated.   The  country's  single  daily  newspaper,  which  is 
government  owned,  regularly  prints  columns  attacking  alleged 
inefficiency  or  corruption  in  various  government  offices.   One 
leading  journalist  was  fired  in  October  1987  when  a  scathing 
column  reportedly  hit  too  close  to  home  for  some  senior 
government  officials.   Foreign  magazines  and  newspapers,  which 
sometimes  criticize  the  President,  notably  French  publications 
and  magazines  printed  elsewhere  in  Africa,  are  seized 
occasionally  by  the  police,  and  a  few  publications  are  banned. 
Journalists  are  considered  to  be  state  employees  and  are 
expected  to  expound  on  themes  as  directed  by  the  Government. 
The  policies  of  the  Government  are  occasionally  debated  in 
public  forums.   The  President  sometimes  holds  press  conferences, 
and  his  ministers  have  submitted  to  lively  direct  questioning 
on  television  on  a  broad  range  of  domestic  policy  issues  such 
as  education,  public  housing,  and  transportation. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Political  activity  outside  the  Democratic  Party  of  Gabon  is 
illegal.   The  Government  does  not  interfere  in  the  affairs  of 
nonpolitical  organizations.   In  some  sectors,  for  example, 
sports  clubs  and  social  service  organizations  have  been  formed. 

Labor  unions  may  organize  but  must  be  affiliated  with  the 
government-sponsored  Labor  Confederation  of  Gabon  (COSYGA) , 
which  is  considered  a  specialized  organ  of  the  Democratic  Party 
of  Gabon  and  the  sole  labor  federation.   The  Labor  Code  (1978) 
and  the  General  Convention  of  Labor  (1982)  govern  general 
working  conditions  and  benefits  for  all  sectors.   Unions  in 
each  sector  negotiate  with  management  over  specific  pay  scales, 
working  conditions,  and  benefits  applicable  to  their  industry. 
Representatives  of  labor,  management,  and  government  meet 
annually  to  agree  on  the  minimum  wage,  which  is  determined 
within  guidelines  provided  by  the  Government.   Under  Gabonese 
law,  all  strikes  are  illegal  which  occur  before  remedies 
prescribed  under  the  Labor  Code  have  been  exhausted.   No 
strikes  were  reported  in  1987,  although  in  previous  years 
workers  have  organized  strikes  or  job  actions  over  wages  and 
working  conditions.   The  Labor  Confederation  of  Gabon  is  a 
member  of  the  Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity. 

It  is  estimated  that  over  half  of  Gabon's  90,000  salaried 
private  sector  workers  are  unionized.   Government  employees  are 
not  permitted  to  belong  to  unions.   Agreements  reached  between 
labor  and  management  in  each  sector  also  apply  to  nonunion  and 
expatriate  labor.   According  to  the  Labor  Code,  workers  may 
individually  or  collectively  take  complaints  of  code  violations 
to  arbitration  and  may  appeal  to  labor  and  national  courts. 
These  provisions  are  respected  in  practice. 


no 

GABON 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

The  Constitution  guarantees  religious  freedom  and  tolerance. 
However,  proselytizing  has  sometimes  been  discouraged.   In  1970 
a  presidential  decree  banned  several  small  syncretistic  sects 
and  the  Jehovah's  Witnesses,  and  declared  illegal  the  practice 
of  these  "cults."   This  ban  was  believed  to  be  the  product  of 
government  suspicions  that  these  religious  groups  were  involved 
in  antigovernment  activities.   The  1970  decree  was  reiterated 
in  1985.   On  Christmas  Day  1986,  security  forces  in  Port 
Gentil,  Gabon's  second  largest  city,  arrested  24  men  for 
attending  a  Jehovah's  Witnesses  service,  considered  a  violation 
of  the  presidential  ban  on  Witnesses'  activities.   Their  trial 
ended  January  31,  1987;  21  received  suspended  sentences,  and  3 
were  sentenced  to  2  months  in  prison  and  each  fined  about 
$300.   They  are  now  free.   In  the  aftermath  of  this  incident, 
government  officials  in  the  human  rights  area  commenced  a 
dialogue  with  respected  Gabonese  Jehovah's  Witnesses  with  a 
view  to  working  out  a  modus  vivendi . 

As  a  general  rule.  Christian,  Muslim,  and  animist  religions  all 
flourish  in  Gabon,  and  public  worship  is  unrestricted.   There 
is  no  political  or  economic  discrimination  because  of  religious 
preference.   A  number  of  different  religious  groups  operate 
schools.   In  February  1987,  President  Bongo  took  the 
extraordinary  step  of  transferring  to  the  Ministry  of  National 
Education  the  administration  of  150  schools  run  by  the 
Protestant  Evangelical  Church  of  Gabon.   The  Government  said 
the  move  was  necessary  to  minimize  the  impact  on  school 
children  of  a  15-year-old  leadership  struggle  which  has  torn 
that  church  apart  and  compromised  its  institutions. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Movement  within  the  country  and  return  to  Gabon  from  abroad  are 
normally  not  restricted  by  the  Government.   Government 
employees,  however,  must  obtain  permission  to  travel  abroad, 
and  private  citizens  must  obtain  exit  permits.   Immigration 
laws  and  presidential  decrees  promulgated  in  mid-1986  imposed 
heavy  monetary  guarantee  requirements  on  non-French  expatriates 
working  in  Gabon  and  levied  $100  exit  visa  fees  for  each 
departure  from  the  country.   Since  mid-1983,  the  Government  has 
slightly  tightened  restrictions  on  the  entry  and  resettlement 
of  displaced  persons,  but  many  persons  who  have  been  deemed  to 
have  a  "well-founded  fear  of  persecution"  in  their  country  of 
origin  have  been  given  permission  to  stay  in  Gabon.   There  have 
been  no  reported  cases  of  involuntary  repatriation.   Those 
refugees  or  displaced  persons  who  wish  to  repatriate 
voluntarily  are  allowed  to  do  so. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Gabon  is  governed  by  a  centralized,  single-party  regime  in 
which  President  Omar  Bongo  exercises  most  political  power. 
Citizens  are  unable  to  change  the  one-party  political  system 
and  therefore  cannot  change  the  party  in  power  through  the 
electoral  process.   Major  political  and  economic  decisions  are 
made  by  the  President,  usually  in  consultation  with  cabinet- 
level  officials.   This  group  of  45  includes  representatives  of 
all  the  country's  major  ethnic,  geographic,  and  political 
groups.   Through  this  mechanism,  Gabon's  varied  interest  groups 
are  heard,  given  access  to  political  patronage,  and  consulted 
on  national  resource  distribution.   The  Fang,  an  ethnic  group 


Ill 


GABON 

comprising  about  35  percent  of  the  population,  feel  themselves 
to  be  underrepresented.   Fear  of  Fang  dominance  by  the 
remaining  65  percent  has  contributed  to  the  President's 
political  control.   The  need  to  maintain  the  balance  of 
interests  represents,  therefore,  the  major  check  on 
presidential  power.   The  very  size  and  complexity  of  the 
government  structure  is  another  significant  factor.   Opposition 
political  parties  are  not  permitted.   Membership  in  the  single 
political  party  is  open  to  all  Gabonese  but  is  not  required. 
Elections  below  the  presidential  level  are  sometimes  contested, 
but  all  candidates  must  be  approved  by  the  Democratic  Party  of 
Gabon.   The  Central  Committee  of  the  ruling  party  was  expanded 
in  September  1986  and  for  the  first  time  included  two  former 
members  of  the  MORENA  opposition  group. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

President  Bongo  has  invited  representatives  of  Amnesty 
International  and  other  human  rights  organizations  to  visit 
Gabon.   The  United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees 
functions  in  Gabon  under  the  aegis  of  the  United  Nations 
Development  Program.   Gabon  in  1987  nominated  a  candidate  to 
the  Africa  Human  Rights  Commission. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

In  recent  years,  women  have  played  an  increasing  role  in  r.he 
economic,  political,  and  cultural  life  of  the  country, 
particularly  in  urban  areas.   The  Government  and  party  have 
promoted  women's  rights,  including  formation  of  the  National 
Commission  for  the  Promotion  of  Women  in  1984,  which  called  for 
increased  support  for  health  care,  nutrition,  and  literacy 
programs  for  women.   The  cabinet  reshuffle  on  January  6,  1987, 
vaulted  a  woman  into  full  ministerial  rank  with  the  naming  of 
Sophie  Ngwamassana  as  Minister  of  Justice.   Four  other  women 
occupy  cabinet  rank  positions  as  secretaries  of  state.   In 
September  1986,  five  women  became  members  of  the  Political 
Bureau  of  the  Democratic  Party  of  Gabon,  the  first  women  to 
serve  at  this  level  of  the  party.   Women  are  also  represented 
in  the  judiciary  and  occupy  17  seats  in  the  National  Assembly. 

Nevertheless,  in  rural  Gabon  women  still  fill  largely 
traditional  roles  built  around  family  and  village.   Onerous 
duties,  such  as  hauling  water,  are  being  lightened  as  piped-in 
water  and  electricity  are  gradually  introduced  in  more  villages. 
The  Government's  policy  of  "regroupment"--encouraging  the 
voluntary  consolidation  of  small  rural  communities  into  larger 
villages  along  a  road--is  designed  to  enhance  delivery  of  public 
services  such  as  water,  electricity,  and  schooling  and  has  the 
effect  of  improving  living  standards  for  rural  women. 

Access  to  the  Government's  social  programs  is  open  to  all 
Gabonese  citizens  on  a  nondiscriminatory  basis. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Labor  legislation  provides  broad  protection  to  workers.   The 
minimum  wage  for  unskilled  labor  since  April  1985  has  been 
about  $200  per  month  for  Gabonese  and  about  $150  for 
foreigners.   Owing  to  labor  shortages,  most  salaries  are  much 
higher.   There  has  been  little  unemployment  for  Gabonese 


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GABON 

wishing  to  enter  the  wage  economy,  though  it  is  increasing  as 
the  economy  reacts  to  the  drop  in  oil  prices. 

No  minor  below  the  age  of  16  may  work  without  the  authorization 
of  the  Ministries  of  Labor,  Public  Health,  and  Education.   It 
is  rarely  granted,  and  few  employees  in  the  modern  sector  are 
below  the  age  of  18.   Work  over  40  hours  per  week  must  be 
compensated  with  overtime,  and  the  workweek  must  include  a 
minimum  rest  of  48  consecutive  hours.   Pregnant  women  have  a 
right  to  14  weeks  of  leave  during  pregnancy,  including  6  weeks 
before  delivery.   The  Labor  Code  describes  enforcement  of 
occupational  health  and  safety  standards,  which  are  established 
by  decree  of  the  Minister  of  Health.   These  standards  are 
enforced  by  the  Government. 


113 


THE  GAMBIA 


A  former  British  colony  on  the  West  African  coast.  The  Gambia 
is  a  parliamentary  democracy  with  an  elected  president.   Until 
a  bloody  coup  attempt  in  July  1981,  The  Gambia  had  a  history 
of  political  stability  under  the  leadership  of  its  only 
President  since  independence  in  1965,  Sir  Dawda  Jawara.   His 
ruling  People's  Progressive  Party  (PPP)  has  dominated  the 
Parliament,  but  several  opposition  parties  actively  participate 
in  the  political  process.   Two  new  political  parties  were 
formed  in  1986  and  joined  the  ruling  party  and  the  existing 
opposition  National  Convention  Party  in  contesting  the 
parliamentary  and  presidential  elections  held  in  March  1987. 
President  Jawara  was  reelected  by  a  large  margin,  and  PPP 
candidates  won  an  overwhelming  majority  in  the  Parliament. 
While  there  were  some  allegations  of  fraud,  none  were 
substantiated,  and  the  elections  were  judged  by  most  observers 
to  be  free  and  fair. 

Discussions  on  the  process  of  confederation  with  Senegal 
continued  during  1987,  albeit  slowly,  focusing  largely  on  the 
economic  area.   The  Gambia  has  a  small  army  with  an  attached 
naval  unit  organized  and  trained  by  British  officers.   One 
company  of  The  Gambian  army  has  been  integrated  with 
Senegalese  troops  into  a  confederal  battalion  led  by  a 
Senegalese  officer.   The  Gambia  also  has  a  gendarmerie  of 
about  500  members,  headed  by  a  Senegalese. 

The  Gambia's  estimated  population  of  784,000  consists  largely 
of  subsistence  farmers  growing  rice  and  groundnuts  (peanuts), 
the  country's  primary  export  crop.   The  Gambia  continued  in 
1987  a  stringent  program  of  economic  reform  which  has  been 
praised  by  the  International  Monetary  Fund,  the  World  Bank, 
and  other  donors,  and  has  allowed  The  Gambia  to  reschedule  its 
debt  and  receive  critical  new  loans. 

The  Gambia  continued  the  human  rights  improvement  begun  in 
1985  with  the  lifting  of  the  state  of  emergency.   In  April 
1987,  the  President,  under  the  "prerogative  of  mercy"  provision 
of  the  Constitution,  granted  remission  of  unserved  sentences 
to  10  persons,  many  of  whom  were  convicted  of  treason  and 
other  crimes  connected  with  the  1981  coup  attempt.   He 
followed  this  action  in  May  with  remission  of  sentences  for 
another  24  persons.   Fifty-nine  persons  remain  in  prison, 
serving  sentences  for  crimes  committed  in  connection  with  the 
1981  coup  attempt.   The  President  has  commuted  all  death 
sentences  to  life  in  prison. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  instances  of  political  killings. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  known  allegations  of  abduction  or  secret 
detention  by  the  Government  or  by  any  other  group. 


114 


THE  GAMBIA 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  Constitution  contains  prohibitions  against  torture  and 
other  cruel,  inhuman,  and  degrading  punishment.   There  were  no 
allegations  o£  torture  in  1987.   Prison  conditions  are  severe, 
and  there  have  been  occasional  reports  of  mistreatment  of 
prisoners.   The  Government  has  expressly  disapproved  of  such 
practices.   There  are  segregated  prison  facilities  for  men  and 
women  of  both  maximum  and  minimum  security  types.   The 
Government  allows  prison  visits  by  representatives  of  the 
local  Red  Cross  and  by  close  family  members. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Based  on  British  legal  practice,  well-developed  constitutional 
and  legal  procedures  govern  the  arrest,  detention,  and  trial 
of  persons  accused  of  crimes.   Under  these  procedures,  a 
detained  person  must  be  brought  to  trial  within  1  week  of 
arrest.   This  waiting  period,  however,  can  be  extended  twice, 
making  21  days  the  maximum  period  of  detention  before  trial. 

The  Government  scrupulously  observed  legal  procedures  in 
handling  the  1,008  persons  detained  after  the  coup  attempt. 
Under  the  Emergency  Act  of  1981,  which  was  abrogated  in 
February  1985,  the  Government  ordered  the  detention  of  persons 
who  were  considered  to  have  been  involved  in  acts  prejudicial 
to  public  safety  for  up  to  14  days  without  a  detention  order 
but  with  the  right  to  legal  counsel. 

The  Labor  Administration  Act  prohibits  forced  labor,  and  there 
have  been  no  indications  that  it  is  practiced. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

There  were  no  known  political  prisoners  in  The  Gambia  at  the 
end  of  1987.   Sixty-six  persons  were  sentenced  to  death--after 
lengthy  public  trials--for  crimes  committed  in  connection  with 
the  1981  coup  attempt.   All  the  cases  have  now  gone  through 
appeal,  and  the  President  in  each  death  penalty  case  brought 
to  him  has  granted  executive  clemency  in  commuting  the 
sentence  to  life  in  prison.   No  executions  have  taken  place. 
One  of  the  1981  coup  leaders  was  arrested  in  1985,  tried,  and 
sentenced  to  death  in  1986.   His  case  was  appealed  before  the 
Criminal  Appeals  Court,  and  the  sentence  was  reduced  to  20 
years.   To  help  discourage  future  coup  attempts.  The  Gambia 
Parliament  enacted  a  law  in  May  1986  which  imposes  the  death 
penalty  for  treason,  but  which  also  includes  the  safeguard 
that  a  person  cannot  be  convicted  of  treason  on  the 
uncorroborated  statement  of  only  one  witness. 

Three  kinds  of  law  operate  in  The  Gambia:  general,  Shari'a, 
and  customary  law.   Shari'a,  governing  Muslims,  is  observed  in 
marriage  and  divorce  proceedings.    Customary  law  covers 
marriage,  inheritance,  divorce,  land  tenure  and  utilization, 
local  tribal  government,  and  all  other  civil  and  social 
relations  originating  in  the  traditional  religious  and  tribal 
situation  of  the  country.   General  law,  based  on  English 
statutes  and  modified  to  suit  The  Gambia  context,  governs 
criminal  cases  and  trials  and  most  organized  business 
practices.   If  there  were  a  conflict  between  general  law  and 
Shari'a,  general  law  would  prevail. 

The  Constitution  provides  criminal  defendants  with  the 
traditional  rights  of  the  English  legal  system,  such  as 


115 


THE  GAMBIA 

presumption  of  innocence,  the  right  of  the  accused  to  be 
informed  promptly  of  the  charges,  and  the  right  to  a  public 
trial.   If  released  on  bail,  the  accused  person  need  not  come 
to  trial  until  the  investigation  is  completed,  and  there 
apparently  is  no  maximum  time  limit  for  investigations. 
Appeals  normally  proceed  from  the  Supreme  (trial)  Court  to  the 
Court  of  Appeals,  the  country's  highest  tribunal. 

While  the  judiciary  operates  independently  and  is  free  of 
government  interference,  judges  are  appointed  by  the 
Government.   Because  of  the  shortage  of  legal  professionals  in 
The  Gambia,  the  legal  system  is  staffed  in  part  by  judges  and 
prosecuting  and  defense  attorneys  from  neighboring 
English-speaking  countries  having  the  same  basic  legal  system 
as  The  Gambia. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  Constitution  provides  guarantees,  which  are  respected  in 
practice,  against  arbitrary  search  of  person  and  property. 
The  Constitution  permits  the  voluntary  submission  by  a  suspect 
to  search,  or  a  mandatory  search  if  it  is  reasonably  required 
in  the  interests  of  national  defense  or  public  welfare.   Under 
the  criminal  code,  search  warrants  based  on  probable  cause  are 
issued  by  magistrates  upon  application  by  the  police.   There 
are  a  few  police  and  military  check  points  in  and  around 
Banjul.   Periodically,  drivers  are  stopped  and  vehicles  are 
searched. 

The  rights  of  family  are  of  extreme  importance  in  The  Gambia's 
conservative  Muslim  society.   Marriage,  the  raising  of 
children,  and  religious  instruction  are  regulated  by  a 
combination  of  personal  preference  and  ethnic  and  religious 
tradition.   The  Government  does  not  normally  intrude  in  family 
matters.   There  is  no  effort  to  censor  or  control  personal 
correspondence  or  communications. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Constitution  provides  for  press  freedom,  and  the 
Government  does  not  attempt  to  censor  published  materials, 
whether  they  originate  within  or  outside  the  country. 
However,  the  Emergency  Act,  which  was  abrogated  in  1985,  did 
have  an  inhibiting  effect  on  criticism  of  the  Government  by 
the  few  independent  newssheets.   In  practical  terms.  The 
Gambia,  with  its  small,  mainly  rural,  largely  illiterate,  and 
multilingual  population,  does  not  support  an  active  press. 
There  are  no  daily  newspapers.   There  is  a  government 
newspaper  and  a  People's  Progressive  Party  newspaper  which 
come  out  on  a  weekly  or  biweekly  basis.   There  are  several 
independent,  intermittently  published,  mimeographed  newssheets. 
Both  the  opposition  and  the  independent  press  are  sometimes 
very  critical  of  the  Government.   There  is,  however,  some 
degree  of  self-censorship  in  the  government-owned  media,  which 
exercises  restraint  in  reporting  criticism  of  the  Government. 
There  is  no  television  in  The  Gambia,  although  Senegalese 
broadcasts  can  be  received.   The  Government  dominates  the 
media  through  Radio  Gambia,  but  there  have  been  no  reported 
instances  of  government  interference  with  the  one  commercial 
radio  station  which  mainly  broadcasts  music.   Foreign 
magazines  and  newspapers  are  available  in  the  capital. 


116 


THE  GAMBIA 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

In  general,  there  is  no  interference  with  the  freedom  of 
association  and  assembly,  which  is  provided  for  in  the 
Constitution.   The  Government  almost  always  grants  permits  for 
meetings  but  requires  that  these  meetings  be  open  to  the 
public.   One  organization,  the  Movement  for  Justice  in  Africa, 
which  was  implicated  in  the  1981  coup  attempt,  is  banned. 

The  Labor  Administration  Act  specifies  that  workers  are  free 
to  form  associations  and  have  the  right  to  organize  and 
bargain  collectively.   However,  trade  unions  are  small  and 
fragmented  and  are  a  minor  element  in  Gambian  economic  and 
political  life.   Less  than  20  percent  of  the  work  force  is 
engaged  in  the  modern  wage  sector  of  the  economy,  where  unions 
normally  are  active.   The  Labor  Administration  Act  authorizes 
strikes,  but  because  of  a  required  14-day  cooling-off  period 
(21  days  in  essential  services),  government  conciliation 
efforts,  and  the  poor  bargaining  strength  of  the  unions,  few 
strikes  actually  occur. 

The  Gambia  Workers  Confederation,  which  is  supported  by  the 
Government,  is  an  umbrella  organization  covering  about  16 
unions.   Another  umbrella  union.  The  Gambian  Workers  Union 
(GWU) ,  which  was  banned  in  1982,  has  recently  reorganized  with 
government  approval.   The  GWU  was  originally  banned  in  the 
late  1970's  for  an  illegal  strike,  but  the  ban  was  lifted  in 
1982  and  then  reapplied.   The  Union  is  currently  in  the 
process  of  regaining  its  prior  support.   Union  members  have 
the  freedom  to  attend  meetings  outside  the  country. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

The  constitutional  provisions  of  freedom  of  conscience, 
thought,  and  religion  are  observed  in  practice.   The  State  is 
secular,  although  Muslims  constitute  over  90  percent  of  the 
population.   The  schools  provide  instruction  in  the  Koran  for 
Muslim  students.   Christians,  both  Catholic  and  Protestant, 
freely  practice  their  religion.   There  is  a  small  Baha'i 
community  in  Banjul.   Missionaries  are  permitted  to  carry  on 
their  various  mission-related  activities.   There  is  no 
evidence  of  discrimination  in  employment,  education,  or  in 
other  areas  of  Gambian  life  on  religious  grounds. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

The  Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of  movement,  subject  to 
conditions  protecting  public  safety,  health,  and  morals. 
There  is  no  restriction  on  freedom  of  emigration  or  freedom  of 
return.   Internally,  police  and  military  checkpoints  exist  in 
and  around  Banjul,  but  there  is  no  evidence  that  police  harass 
travelers.   Because  of  historic  and  ethnic  ties  with  the 
inhabitants  of  Senegal,  Guinea-Bissau,  Mali,  and  Mauritania, 
people  tend  to  move  unregulated  across  borders,  which  are 
poorly  marked  and  difficult  to  police.   Under  the  Confederation 
Treaty  of  1981,  neither  Gambians  nor  Senegalese  need  passports 
or  visas  to  travel  to  the  other  country.   The  Gambia  also 
recognizes  the  Economic  Community  of  West  African  States' 
(ECOWAS)  protocol  which  allows  entry  of  ECOWAS  country 
citizens  up  to  90  days  without  visas. 

Refugees  fleeing  persecution  or  unrest  in  other  countries  are 
not  numerous  in  The  Gambia,  but  the  Government  and  people  have 


117 


THE  GAMBIA 

a  reputation  for  tolerance.   There  have  been  no  reported  cases 
of  refugees  being  forcibly  deported. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  chief  executive  (the  President)  and  the  members  of  the 
legislature  (Parliament)  are  popularly  elected,  as  are  the 
district  councils  and  the  chiefs,  who  exercise  traditional 
authority  in  the  villages  and  compounds.   Citizens  must  be  at 
least  18  years  of  age  to  vote.   Balloting  is  secret,  and 
careful  measures  are  employed  to  assure  that  illiterate  voters 
understand  the  choices  and  voting  procedure. 

A  functioning  multiparty  system  exists  in  The  Gambia  even 
though  the  People's  Progressive  Party  has  been  in  power  since 
independence.   The  principal  opposition  party,  the  National 
Convention  Party  (NCP) ,  contests  both  national  and  district 
elections.   Two  newly-formed  opposition  parties.  The  Gambia 
People's  Party  (GPP)  and  the  People's  Democratic  Organization 
for  Independence  and  Socialism  (PDOIS),  contested  the  March 
1987  presidential  and  parliamentary  elections.   Campaigning 
was  vigorous,  active,  and  open  by  all  parties.   The  ruling  PPP 
won  by  an  overwhelming  majority  and  now  holds  31  of  36 
elective  seats  in  the  Parliament. 

Only  one  (the  NCP)  of  the  three  opposition  parties  won  seats. 
The  opposition  charged  that  the  election  was  manipulated  by 
the  Government  but  could  not  provide  evidence  to  support  its 
allegations.   The  opposition  also  charged,  with  some 
justification,  that  the  PPP  benefited  from   its  control  of 
Radio  Gambia  and  access  to  government  vehicles  for  campaigning. 
Overall,  however,  the  election  was  considered  by  observers  to 
be  free  and  fair. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  permits  visits  of  international  human  rights 
organizations  to  observe  the  conditions  of  detainees  and  the 
trial  process.   There  were  no  reported  requests  by  such 
organizations  for  investigation  of  alleged  human  rights  abuses 
in  The  Gambia  during  1987. 

The  Government  is  responsive  to  charges  of  human  rights 
violations.   When  Amnesty  International  criticized  the 
Government  for  the  use  of  chains  and  shackles  on  prisoners, 
they  were  removed.   The  Gambia  is  a  member  of  the  United 
Nations  Human  Rights  Commission  and  of  the  newly  created 
African  Commission  on  Human  and  Peoples'  Rights,  which  it  has 
offered  to  host  in  Banjul.   The  Government  has  also  proposed 
the  creation  of  a  quasi-governmental  African  Center  for  Human 
Rights  Research. 

Section  5  Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  people  are  overwhelmingly  Muslim,  and  85  percent  of  the 
population  live  in  villages.   While  personal  initiative  and 
choice  are  valued,  rights  and  privileges  are  generally 
collective.   Traditional  conservative  values,  especially  about 
women,  are  changing,  but  very  slowly.   Marriages  are  still 
often  arranged,  and  Muslim  tradition  allows  for  polygamy.   In 
villages  the  women  continue  to  perform  work  in  the  field  and 


118 


THE  GAMBIA 

provide  for  the  majority  of  local  food  production.   Women  also 
play  an  important  role  in  the  small,  modern  wage  sector  of  the 
economy.   Most  are  in  lighter  or  semiskilled  jobs  (e.g., 
assembly  work,  handicraft  shops,  bus  conductors),  very  few  are 
in  skilled  trades  (e.g.,  carpentry,  auto  repair),  and  a  small 
but  growing  number  are  in  midlevel  supervisory  positions 
(e.g.,  tourist  hotels  and  banks).   There  is  no  wage  or 
benefits  discrimination  for  jobs  that  are  performed  both  by 
men  and  women.   Females  comprise  over  one-third  of  the 
students  in  primary  school,  and,  with  growing  educational 
opportunities,  women  participate  increasingly  in  the 
professions  and  in  political  life.   The  Minister  of  Health  and 
the  Parliamentary  Secretary  in  the  President's  Office  are 
women.   In  addition,  there  are  women  in  prominent  positions  in 
the  civil  service  as  department  heads  and  undersecretaries. 
There  is  a  women's  bureau  in  the  Office  of  the  President  which 
actively  promotes  debate  on  women's  issues. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

In  the  small  industrial  sector  of  the  economy,  labor  cards 
authorizing  employment  of  youths  are  generally  not  issued 
until  they  reach  the  age  of  16  and  never  below  the  age  of  14. 
This  control  on  child  labor  does  not  apply  to  customary  chores 
on  family  farms.   Minimum  wages  and  hours  of  work  are 
determined  by  the  Joint  Industrial  Council,  pursuant  to  the 
Labor  Administration  Act,  which  has  representation  from 
employees,  employers,  and  government.   These  minimum  wages, 
however,  are  well  below  the  actual  rates  paid  in  the 
marketplace.   For  example,  the  minimum  wage  for  an  ordinary 
unskilled  laborer  is  approximately  75  cents  per  day  for  an 
8-hour  day,  but  in  fact  such  workers  now  receive  about  $2.15 
per  day.   Occupational  safety  and  health  are  covered  by  the 
Factory  Act  under  which  the  Minister  of  Labor  is  given 
authority  to  regulate  factory  health  and  safety,  accident 
prevention,  and  dangerous  trades,  and  to  appoint  inspectors  to 
ensure  compliance.   However,  this  system  is  less  than  fully 
satisfactory  owing  to  the  shortage  of  inspectors.   The 
Government  recently  announced  that  it  will  submit  to 
Parliament  a  new  labor  code  to  replace  obsolete  labor  laws  and 
improve  labor  conditions,  and  an  Industrial  Injuries 
Compensation  Act  to  replace  the  existing  Workmen's 
Compensation  Act.   With  these  changes,  the  Department  of  Labor 
will  also  be  strengthened. 


119 


GHANA 


Ghana  is  governed  by  the  Provisional  National  Defense  Council 
(PNDC)  under  the  chairmanship  of  Flight  Lieutenant  Jerry  John 
Rawlings,  who  seized  power  from  the  previous  elected  Government 
on  December  31,  1981.   Under  the  Establishment  Proclamation 
issued  January  11,  1982,  the  Council  exercises  "all  powers  of 
government."   In  practice,  government  policy  is  developed  by 
Chairman  Rawlings  assisted  by  a  number  of  close  advisers,  both 
inside  and  outside  government.   In  addition  to  Chairman 
Rawlings,  the  PNDC  consists  of  eight  members,  of  which  two  are 
serving  military  officers  and  six  are  civilians  (including  one 
woman  and  one  ex-military  officer).   The  various  government 
ministries  are  headed  by  secretaries,  most  of  whom  are 
subordinate  to  a  PNDC  member  responsible  for  that  particular 
area  of  government.   A  country-wide  network  of  Committees  for 
the  Defense  of  the  Revolution  (CDR's)  is  designed  as  a  channel 
to  transmit  government  policies  to  the  citizens  and  citizen 
concerns  to  the  Government. 

Several  security  organizations  in  Ghana  report  to  various 
sections  of  the  Government,  but  all  come  under  the  control  of 
the  PNDC.   Most  security  cases  of  a  political  nature  are 
handled  by  the  Bureau  of  National  Investigation,  which  reports 
to  both  the  Ministry  of  the  Interior  and  the  PNDC  member 
responsible  for  security  issues. 

Starting  in  1983,  the  Government  adopted  an  Economic  Recovery 
Program  in  an  effort  to  redress  a  guarter  century  of  economic 
mismanagement  and  political  instability  which,  combined  with  a 
severe  drought  in  the  early  1980's,  caused  Ghana  to  decline 
from  one  of  Africa's  most  promising  economies  to  near  collapse. 
Conducted  in  concert  with  the  International  Monetary  Fund 
(IMF),  World  Bank  (IBRD),  and  consultative  groups  of  bilateral 
donors,  the  recovery  program  has  had  a  positive  effect.   The 
economy  has  grown  for  5  consecutive  years  (in  1987  by  a 
projected  5  percent).   Inflation,  which  had  been  brought  down 
from  triple  digits  to  the  teens,  rose  again  in  1987  to  a 
projected  30  percent. 

Under  Chairman  Rawlings,  a  notable  development  has  been  the 
continuing  restoration  of  civil  order  after  an  initial 
18-month  period  of  revolutionary  excess  in  1982  and  1983. 
Discipline  has  generally  been  improved  in  the  armed  forces  and 
the  police.   There  were  no  coup  plots  reported  in  1987.   The 
Government,  through  a  National  Commission  on  Democracy 
established  in  1984  under  the  chairmanship  of  a  PNDC  member, 
continued  in  1987  to  "study"  means  of  restoring  a  democratic 
system.   In  July  1987,  guidelines  were  set  out  for  district 
level  elections.   In  October  1987,  the  Government  began  a 
process  of  registering  voters  for  these  elections.   Procedures 
for  future  elections  at  the  regional  and  federal  levels  have 
not  been  established.   The  potential  for  arbitrary  deprivation 
of  liberty  was  demonstrated  by  continuing  instances  of 
incarceration  without  formal  charges  during  sometimes  lengthy 
investigations.   A  system  of  public  tribunals,  which  parallels 
the  regular-court  system,  is  designed  to  expedite  the  judicial 
process,  but  is  criticized  for  not  enforcing  procedural 
safeguards,  effectively  enough  to  constitute  due  process. 


Rn-77Q  n  _  ftR  _  c; 


i20 


GHANA 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reported  instances  of  politically  motivated  or 
governmentally  instigated  deaths. 

b.  Disappearance 

No  disappearances  traceable  to  government  action  or  to 
nongovernmental  or  opposition  forces  were  reported. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

There  have  been  occasional  credible  allegations  of  torture  and 
beatings.   In  1987  a  jailhouse  official  was  sentenced  to  death 
for  beating  a  detainee  to  death  but  is  appealing  his  case. 
Prisons  in  Ghana  are  antiquated,  and  conditions  are  stark. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Ghanaian  security  forces  occasionally  take  persons  into 
custody,  with  or  without  a  warrant,  and  hold  them  incommunicado 
for  extended  periods  of  time.   When  the  Ghana  Bar  Association 
has  taken  steps  to  try  to  free  some  of  these  persons,  the  PNDC 
has  either  stood  aside  and  permitted  their  release  or  has 
retroactively  interposed  preventive  custody  orders  barring 
their  release  and  citing  national  security  considerations  as 
justification . 

In  more  routine  criminal  cases,  detentions  are  generally 
performed  in  accordance  with  the  legal  procedures  set  forth  in 
the  criminal  code.   This  code  requires  that  an  arrested  person 
be  brought  before  a  court  within  48  hours.   However,  the  court 
can  refuse  to  release  a  detainee  on  bail  and  instead  "remand" 
him  without  charges  for  an  indefinite  period  of  time,  subject 
to  weekly  review  as  a  case  is  investigated.   Habeas  corpus  is 
limited  by  a  1984  law  which  prevents  any  court  from  inquiring 
into  the  grounds  for  the  detention  of  any  Ghanaian  under  PNDC 
Law  2  (which  set  up  the  National  Investigation  Committee  and 
gave  the  Committee  the  power  to  investigate  virtually  any 
allegation  referred  to  it  by  the  PNDC). 

There  are  no  reliable  estimates  of  the  number  of  political 
detainees  and  prisoners  in  Ghanaian  prisons.   No  minister  of 
the  prerevolut ionary  Government  remains  in  detention.   Some 
officials  of  the  former  Government  who  fled  Ghana  in  1982  and 
1983  have  quietly  returned  and  resumed  careers  outside  of 
politics,  apparently  convinced  that  the  danger  of  detention 
has  now  passed;  others  have  assumed  government  posts..  The 
Government  does  not  announce  detentions  or  releases,  but  in 
1987,  as  in  previous  years,  a  number  of  prisoners  remained  in 
detention  without  charge  or  trial.   In  its  1987  Report, 
Amnesty  International  (AI)  noted  that  at  the  end  of  1986  at 
least  50  people,  most  of  whom  were  believed  to  be  military 
personnel,  were  being  held  without  charge  or  trial  under  the 
Preventive  Custody  Law  of  1982  (PNDC  Law  4).   In  late  July 
1987,  AI  issued  a  statement  expressing  concern  at  the  arrest 
and  detention  of  three  Ghanaians  on  July  15  and  stating  that 
they  may  be  "prisoners  of  conscience"  imprisoned  for  the 
nonviolent  expression  of  their  political  beliefs.   The  names 


121 


GHANA 

of  these  three  individuals  were  added  to  an  AI  list  of  four 
other  Ghanaians  detained  in  May  1987  without  charges. 

In  1987  two  American  citizens  were  arrested  and  held  without 
charge  for  many  weeks,  and  in  neither  case  were  U.S.  Embassy 
officials  notified  of  the  arrests  in  a  manner  consistent  with 
international  law  and  practice.   One  of  the  Americans  died  in 
jail,  apparently  of  natural  causes,  before  the  Embassy  was 
notified  of  his  arrest. 

Ghana  prohibits  forced  labor,  except  in  the  case  of  convicted 
criminals.   Convicts  can  be  found  working  on  private  farms  and 
construction  sites  as  part  of  government  programs  to  reform 
and  resocialize  convicted  criminals.   There  are  no  reported 
instances  of  forced  exile.   However,  there  are  cases  of 
Ghanaians  abroad  who  hesitate  to  return  for  fear  of  political 
persecution. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

In  the  existing  regular  "prerevolutionary"  court  system, 
traditional  legal  safeguards  are  based  on  British  legal 
practice,  e.g.,  the  right  of  defendants  to  present  evidence 
and  to  cross-examine  witnesses.   This  system  includes  high 
courts,  appeal  courts,  and  a  Supreme  Court  headed  by  a  Chief 
Justice.   Questions  exist,  however,  about  the  independence  of 
the  regular  courts.   In  April  1986,  the  PNDC  overturned  one  of 
its  own  decrees,  which  provided  for  full  hearings  before  a 
judge  could  be  removed  from  office,  and  summarily  dismissed  16 
judges,  including  2  judges  of  the  Court  of  Appeal  (Ghana's 
second  highest  court).   The  PNDC  alleged  that  these  judges 
were  guilty  of  various  forms  of  malfeasance  in  office,  but  no 
formal  charges  were  brought  against  them,  and  no  hearings  were 
ever  held.   Many  legal  observers  believe  that,  by  this  action, 
the  PNDC  has  put  judges  in  the  regular  courts  on  notice  that 
they  serve  at  its  sufferance.   The  Ghana  Bar  Association  has 
urged  the  reestablishment  of  a  judicial  council  to  protect 
judges  from  arbitrary  dismissal  and  preserve  judicial 
independence . 

A  separate  public  tribunals  system  was  set  up  in  1982  to 
parallel  the  regular  court  system.   It  includes  the  office  of 
Revenue  Commissioners,  the  National  Investigations  Committee, 
the  Special  Military  Tribunal,  and  the  Public  Tribunals  Board, 
as  well  as  the  public  tribunals  themselves,  which  operate  at 
the  national  and  regional  levels  and  are  planned  for  district 
and  community  levels.   Critics  have  complained  that  there  are 
no  Ghanaian  laws  specifying  which  cases  should  go  before  these 
tribunals  and  which  before  the  regular  court  system.   The 
Government's  announced  purpose  when  it  established  this  system 
was  to  provide  more  justice  to  more  people  in  a  more  timely 
fashion  by  deemphasizin'g  legal  "technicalities."   No  appeals 
were  permitted  until  1985,  when  a  National  Appeals  Tribunal 
was  created.   Critics  contend  that  this  system  depends  largely 
on  judges  /^ith  little  or  no  legal  experience  and  that  it 
shortcuts  legal  safeguards  in  an  effort  to  speed  proceedings. 
The  panels  of  presiding  judges  contain  more  laymen  than 
lawyers,  there  are  no  published  guidelines  concerning  the 
admissibility  of  evidence,  and  conviction  is  by  majority  vote 
of  the  panel  trying  a  case.   Critics  also  contend  that 
meaningful  appeals  are  impossible  because  no  adequate  record 
is  kept  of  initial  hearings  before  tribunals.   Judges  on  the 
appeals  panel  are  drawn  from  the  same  pool  of  "lay  judges"  who 
hear  the  initial  cases.   The  public  tribunals  enforce  the  PNDC 


122 


GHANA 

policy  o£  imposing  the  death  penalty  for  offenses  that  are 
essentially  economic  in  nature. 

The  members  of  the  Ghana  Bar  Association,  citing  such 
shortcomings,  have  elected  not  to  practice  before  the 
tribunals.   This  means  that  in  practice  defendants  may  appear 
before  the  public  tribunals  with  inadequate  or  no  legal 
representation.   In  1985  the  Government  approved  the  creation 
of  a  legal  aid  program,  but  this  program  is  yet  to  be  more 
than  marginally  implemented. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  individual  citizen  is,  for  the  most  part,  free  from 
interference  by  the  State  in  his  or  her  private  conduct, 
although  some  critics  fear  that  the  Committees  for  the  Defense 
of  the  Revolution  (CDR's)  have  the  potential  to  become 
"neighborhood  watch  committees."   The  Government  holds  that 
all  citizens  are  "members"  of  the  CDR's,  although  at  present 
actual  participation  in  the  system  is  voluntary.   Monitoring 
of  telephones  and  mail  is  presumed  to  occur,  but  is  rarely 
reported.   Forced  entry  into  homes  has  been  reported  in 
connection  with  security  investigations.   Informers  exist  and 
some  Ghanaians  hesitate  to  speak  frankly  at  public  gatherings. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  freedoms  of  speech  and  the  press  guaranteed  under  the  now 
suspended  1979  Constitution  have  been  abrogated,  but  the  PNDC 
Chairman  has  publicly  encouraged  people  to  speak  out  on  local 
community  concerns,  though  not  on  government  policy.   The 
Government  owns  the  radio  and  television  stations  and  the  two 
principal  daily  newspapers.   Reporting  on  external  events 
draws  heavily  from  various  wire  services  and  tends  to  reinforce 
the  Government's  foreign  policies;  the  press  avoids  criticism 
of  Ghana's  foreign  policies.   The  press  also  avoids  criticism 
of  the  revolution  or  of  Chairman  Rawlings  and  PNDC  members.  In 
general,  it  accentuates  positive  aspects  of  the  revolution, 
but  does  on  occasion  report  instances  of  corruption  and 
mismanagement.   Critics  have  charged  that  fear  of  government 
retaliation  has  led  to  a  "culture  of  silence."   Private 
organizations  s^ch  as  the  Ghana  Bar  Association  voice 
occasional  dissent  from  official  policies  but  are  typically 
denied  access  to  the  media  and  have  difficulty  reaching  the 
public  with  their  views. 

Several  privately  owned  newspapers  have  tried  to  be  relatively 
bold  in  reporting  selected  issues.   The  Pioneer,  one  of  three 
remaining  independent  papers,  has  at  times  criticized  the 
Economic  Recovery  Program.   However,  many  privately  owned 
newspapers,  for  various  reasons,  have  since  closed  down.   In 
1986  the  Government  limited  supplies  of  newsprint  to  the 
independent  press,  thereby  reportedly  forcing  one  newspaper 
into  bankruptcy.   In  December  1985,  the  Government  banned 
publication  of  the  Catholic  Standard;  it  remains  banned. 

Foreign  periodicals  such  as  West  Africa  are  sold  freely 
throughout  Ghana;  there  appears  to  be  no  attempt  to  exercise 
censorship.   Western  journalists  are  now  routinely  accorded 
visas  and  press  credentials  as  opposed  to  the  practice  of  a 
few  years  ago. 


123 


GHANA 

Academic  freedom  tends  to  be  respected  within  the  confines  of 
the  campus.   In  the  spring,  university  students  demonstrated 
over  campus  issues  which  assumed  political  overtones. 
Eventually  all  three  universities  were  closed  in  midsemester, 
but  they  reopened  several  months  later  when  courses  were 
completed  and  examinations  held.   Students  dismissed  at  the 
time  of  the  spring  demonstrations  by  the  Government  were 
allowed  to  return  to  campus. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Individuals  generally  are  free  to  join  together  formally  or 
informally  to  promote  benevolent  or  nonviolent  causes,  but 
restrictions  remain  on  association  for  the  purpose  of 
protesting  government  policies.   Political  meetings  are 
banned,  and  political  parties  are  not  permitted.   Permits  are 
required  for  public  meetings  but  are  routinely  granted  except 
when  the  meeting  has  an  overtly  political  purpose. 

The  Trades  Union  Congress  (TUC)  is  led  by  officials  freely 
elected  in  1983.   The  next  TUC  convention,  at  which  new 
officials  are  to  be  elected,  was  scheduled  for  December  1987 
but  postponed  until  early  1988  for  organizational  reasons. 
The  TUC  is  associated  with  the  International  Labor  Organization 
(ILO)  and  with  the  Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity 
(whose  headquarters  are  located  in  Accra) .   The  right  to 
strike  is  recognized  in  law  and  in  practice,  although  the 
Government  has  taken  strong  actions  to  end  strikes,  especially 
those  which  threaten  interests  it  perceives  to  be  vital. 
Wildcat  and  unauthorized  strikes  numbered  19  in  1986  and  17  in 
1987. 

Trade  unions  engage  in  collective  bargaining  with  both  private 
sector  and  state-owned  enterprises,  though  in  the  latter 
category  there  are  indications  that  the  Government  has,  on 
occasion,  used  brief  detentions  and  threats  against  union 
leaders  to  force  agreement  on  issues.   At  the  end  of  1987,  no 
union  officials  were  under  detention  for  union-related 
activities.   During  a  period  of  tension  in  the  spring  involving 
students  and  union  members,  the  government-controlled  press 
sharply  criticized  some  unions  and  union  leaders,  and  there 
were  allegations  of  other  government  pressure  against  the 
unions  behind  the  scenes. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

There  is  no  state-favored  religion  and  no  restriction  on  the 
exercise  of  religion  or  on  contacts  with  others  of  the  same 
faith.   Most  Ghanaians,  including  senior  government  officials, 
are  practicing  members  of  religious  groups,  and  there  are  no 
particular  advantages  or  disadvantages  to  membership  in  any  of 
them.   The  PNDC  has  been  sensitive  to  church  criticism  of 
Ghana's  human  rights  record,  and  in  1987  Chairman  Rawlings 
renewed  the  charge  that  worldwide  church  and  Christian 
organizations  may  be  havens  for  foreign  spy  networks.   The 
Chairman  has  also  criticized  importation  of  commodities  in  the 
name  of  the  church  to  avoid  import  duties.   The  PNDC  has 
banned  religious  publications  for  alleged  political  content. 
Foreign  missionary  groups  operate  throughout  the  country, 
although  religious  groups  which  advocate  refusal  to  recognize 
Ghanaian  symbols  of  authority  have  been  strongly  criticized  by 
the  Government.   In  September  seven  teachers  who  were 
Jehovah's  Witnesses  were  dismissed  from  their  jobs  for 
refusing  to  recite  the  national  pledge  of  allegiance  or  sing 
the  national  anthem. 


124 


GHANA 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

People  are  free  to  move  from  one  part  of  the  country  to  another 
without  special  permission.   Police  roadblocks  continue  to 
exist  countrywide,  allegedly  for  the  prevention  of  smuggling, 
but  are  less  obtrusive  than  in  the  1982-84  period.   Roadblocks 
and  car  searches  are  still  a  normal  part  of  nighttime  travel 
in  Accra  but  are  no  longer  conducted  during  the  day. 

As  members  of  the  Economic  Community  of  West  African  States 
(ECOWAS),  Ghanaians  are  eligible  to  travel  without  visas  for 
up  to  90  days  anywhere  in  West  Africa.   Ghanaians  are  generally 
free  to  exercise  this  right,  and  nationals  of  other  member 
states  are  free  to  travel  to  Ghana.   The  Ghana-Togo  border, 
closed  following  allegations  by  Togo  of  Ghanaian  involvement 
in  a  1986  coup  attempt  against  the  Government  of  Togo,  was 
reopened  in  the  summer.   The  major  restraints  on  travel  by 
Ghanaians  are  lack  of  foreign  exchange  and  long  delays  in  the 
issuance  of  passports.   Ghanaians  are  free  to  emigrate  or  to 
be  repatriated  from  other  countries.   If  a  person  is  considered 
a  security  threat,  special  permission  to  travel  outside  Ghana 
must  be  obtained. 

There  is  no  forced  resettlement  of  populations.   While 
unregistered  refugees  from  the  Sahelian  drought  in  neighboring 
countries  remain,  efforts  to  settle  these  basically  nomadic 
people  have  had  only  limited  success.   Only  some  150  refugees 
are  registered  with  the  United  Nations  Human  Rights  Commission, 
and  they  do  not  constitute  a  significant  problem  for  the 
Government . 

Section  3   Respect  For  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Under  PNDC  Law  42,  Chairman  Rawlings  and  the  PNDC  exercise 
total  executive,  legislative,  judicial,  and  administrative 
power  in  Ghana.   There  is  no  current  procedure  by  which 
citizens  can  freely  and  peacefully  change  their  laws, 
officials,  or  form  of  government.   The  National  Commission  on 
Democracy  was  established  in  1984  to  design  new  democratic 
structures  which  would  eventually  replace  Ghana's  existing 
provisional  system.   On  July  1,  1987  a  "blue  book"  was 
published  on  the  "creation  of  district  political  authorities 
and  modalities  for  district-level  elections."   Voter  regis- 
tration was  conducted  in  October  and  November  1987  for  the 
election  of  district  assemblies  in  the  last  quarter  of  1988. 
However,  the  duties  and  areas  of  authority  of  these  district 
assemblies  remain  vague.   No  plans  have  been  announced  for 
regional  or  national  elections.   Efforts  to  give  substance  to 
the  revolutionary  slogan,  "power  to  the  people,"  have  included 
elections  for  leadership  positions  at  the  local  level  of  the 
Committees  for  the  Defense  of  the  Revolution. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  cooperates  with  the  International  Committee  of 
the  Red  Cross,  and  there  is  a  chapter  of  AI  in  Ghana.   There 
are  seyeral  other  groups  in  Ghana  concerned  with  human  rights, 
and  they  tend  to  be  objective  but  not  especially  vocal  or 
effective  in  their  reporting.   Nevertheless,  various 
independent  groups  and  organizations  have  worked  for  and  have 
sometimes  succeeded  in  gaining  the  release  of  persons  from 


125 


GHANA 

custody.   As  far  ^s  is  known,  no  representatives  of 
international  human  rights  organizations  visited  Ghana  in 
1987.   Ghana  has  neither  signed  nor  ratified  the  African 
Charter  on  Human  and  Peoples'  Rights. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Discrimination  based  on  race,  language,  religion,  or  social 
status  is  not  an  issue  in  Ghana.   Women's  rights  in  business 
and  the  civil  service  have  long  been  well  established  and 
respected.   One  woman  serves  as  a  member  of  the  ruling  PNDC, 
another  serves  in  the  Cabinet,  and  at  least  six  hold  subcabinet 
positions.   Women  in  Ghana  have  traditionally  had  a  major 
societal  role.   Women  in  urban  centers  and  those  who  have 
entered  modern  society  encounter  little  apparent  bias,  but 
role  pressures  do  exist.   Women  in  the  rural  agricultural 
sector  remain  subject  to  constraints  associated  with 
traditional  mores  of  male  dominance,  in  spite  of  efforts  by 
the  Government  to  curtail  such  practices. 

In  1985  the  Government  promulgated  four  laws  which  overturned 
many  of  the  discriminatory  customary,  traditional,  and  colonial 
laws;  these  concerned  family  accountability,  intestate 
succession,  customary  divorce  registrations,  and  the 
administration  of  estates. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Working  conditions  in  Ghana  are  governed  by  labor  legislation 
which  specifically  prohibits  forced  labor,  sets  a  minimum 
employment  age  of  15,  and  prohibits  night  work  and  certain 
types  of  hazardous  employment  for  those  under  18  years  of 
age.   In  fact,  child  labor  is  prevalent,  for  example,  on  local 
buses  where  children  of  the  drivers  often  serve  as  money 
collectors.   The  minimum  wage,  which  applies  to  Government 
employees  but  is  only  indicative  for  the  private  sector,  was 
raised  25  percent  on  January  1,  1987.   Through  both  government 
directives  and  union  contracts,  the  normal  hours  of  work  are 
defined  in  terms  of  a  40-hour  week.   Labor  legislation 
provides  for  labor  inspectors  and  gives  them  the  power  to 
order  the  alteration  or  closing  of  any  work  site  "to  avert  any 
threat  to  the  health  or  safety  of  the  workers."   Inspections 
take  place  and  are  as  effective  as  possible  under 
circumstances  of  a  troubled  national  economy  and  scanty 
resources.   Terms  of  employment  and  protection  against 
arbitrary  discharge  are  also  covered  by  existing  legislation. 


126 


GUINEA 


In  1987  the  Guinean  Military  Committee  for  National  Recovery 
(CMRN)  continued  its  hold  on  political  power  as  General 
Lansana  Conte  entered  his  fourth  year  as  Head  of  State.   The 
CMRN  assumed  power  in  1984  after  the  death  of  Sekou  Toure, 
inheriting  a  27-year  legacy  of  mismanagement  and  leftwing 
authoritarianism.   With  the  Constitution  suspended  since  1984, 
the  military  Government  rules  through  ordinances,  decrees,  and 
decisions  issued  by  the  President  and  various  ministers.   The 
Guinean  penal  code,  which  took  effect  in  1965,  regulates 
treatment  of  prisoners,  delegates  authority  to  permit  public 
assemblies,  and  provides  some  guarantees  of  personal  liberties. 
The  code  was  generally  disregarded  during  the  Toure  regime. 
The  CMRN,  however,  has  increased  enforcement  of  the  code,  and 
it  remains  the  only  major  legislative  guarantee  of  certain 
rights  . 

The  armed  forces  number  about  9,000  persons,  with  the  army 
alone  consisting  of  some  8,000  officers  and  soldiers.   The 
national  police  (gendarmerie)  helps  provide  internal  security, 
as  does  a  well-armed  presidential  guard. 

Eighty  percent  of  Guinea's  population  of  5.8  million  is 
dependent  on  subsistence  agriculture,  with  per  capita  annual 
income  estimated  at  barely  $300.   The  country  relies  largely 
on  mineral  resources,  mainly  bauxite,  for  export  income  which 
has  been  declining  due  to  falling  world  prices  for  bauxite. 
Under  the  CMRN,  Guinea  has  been  attempting  to  create  an 
economic  environment  conducive  to  free  market  activities,  and 
its  comprehensive  economic  reform  program  has  diversified  the 
small  salaried  work  force  and  made  it  less  dependent  on  public 
service  jobs. 

Guinea's  human  rights  record  was  tarnished  in  May  1987  when, 
after  secret  trials,  the  CMRN  confirmed  that  58  persons, 
including  9  former  cabinet  ministers  and  30  military  officers, 
had  been  sentenced  to  death.   Another  143  persons  were 
sentenced  to  imprisonment.   Some  of  the  victims  had  been 
supporters  of  Guinea's  former  dictator,  Sekou  Toure.   Others 
were  opponents  of  the  CMRN  regime  who  had  attempted  a  coup  in 
July  1985.   A  December  31  presidential  amnesty  released  67 
persons,  including  the  widow  and  son  of  Sekou  Toure. 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

On  May  5,  1987,  the  ruling  CMRN  issued  a  communigue  announcing 
death  sentences  for  58  opponents  of  the  current  regime  and 
supporters  of  the  former  Government.   Twenty-one  of  the  58 
were  sentenced  in  absentia.   International  press  reports 
claimed  the  remaining  37  had  been  summarily  executed  before 
the  sentencing  was  even  announced,  probably  immediately  after 
the  1985  coup  atttempt. 

b.  Disappearance 

No  politically  motivated  abductions  or  disappearances  were 
reported  during  1987. 


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GUINEA 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  CMRN  has  denounced  the  human  rights  atrocities  of  the 
former  Toure  dictatorship  and  has  begun  to  enforce  provisions 
of  the  1965  penal  code  which  forbid  torture  and  abuse  of 
authority.   Some  mistreatment  of  prisoners  continues,  and 
prison  conditions  remain  squalid  and  unsanitary.   The 
Government  is  attempting  to  implement  judicial  and  prison 
reforms  which  will  improve  conditions.   A  program  to  train 
wardens  and  other  prison  personnel  is  being  developed  with  the 
help  of  the  International  Committee  of  the  Red  Cross  (ICRC). 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

The  Government  does  not  have  total  control  of  the  police,  and 
weak  discipline  in  the  lower  ranks  of  the  police,  gendarmerie, 
and  military  forces  has  led  to  isolated  abuses.   For  example, 
low  level  officials  reportedly  continue  to  make  unauthorized 
arrests  in  an  attempt  to  supplement  low  salaries  through 
extortion.   Presidential  admonitions  and  frequent  campaigns 
against  this  practice  in  the  government-owned  media  have  not 
succeeded  in  eliminating  this  practice.   By  law,  an  accused 
criminal  can  be  held  incommunicado  for  72  hours  and  only  has 
the  right  to  counsel  after  first  appearing  before  a  judge. 
There  are  sometimes  delays  in  acknowledging  arrests  of  common 
criminals.   Political  prisoners,  such  as  those  held  after  the 
1985  coup  attempt,  have  been  detained  for  extended  periods  of 
time . 

Compulsory  labor  is  prohibited  and  not  practiced  in  Guinea. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  number  of  political  prisoners  and  detainees  still  in 
prison  is  not  known.   The  CMRN  communique  of  May  5,  1987,  also 
announced  that  143  opponents  of  the  regime  were  sentenced  to 
prison  terms  of  28  months  to  8  years.   Most  of  these  prisoners 
had  been  held  since  1985.   A  presidential  amnesty  on  December 
31  released,  according  to  the  Government,  67  of  these  persons, 
including  the  widow  and  son  of  former  dictator  Sekou  Toure. 
Much  of  the  information  concerning  procedures  of  arrest, 
interrogation,  detention,  sentencing,  and  release  of 
prisoners,  under  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Court  of  State 
Security  and  the  Military  Court,  was  not  available. 

The  Court  of  State  Security  was  established  in  1985  under  the 
CMRN  to  try  cases  involving  national  security,  including,  but 
not  limited  to,  treason.   Civilian  officials  of  the  former 
regime  and  civilians  implicated  in  the  July  1985  coup  attempt 
were  tried  by  the  Court  of  State  Security  in  secret 
proceedings.   All  accused  were  charged  with  committing  common 
crimes  and  were  represented  by  lawyers.   Sentences  for  some  of 
the  accused  were  announced  only  in  May  1987.   Likewise,  the 
Military  Court,  also  created  in  1985  with  jurisdiction  over 
offenses  committed  by  Guinean  military  personnel,  held  secret 
proceedings  to  judge  those  military  personnel  involved  in  the 
July  1985  coup  attempt.   Details  regarding  those  proceedings, 
including  verdicts  and  sentences,  remain  undisclosed. 

Guinea's  judicial  and  institutional  reform  continued  in  1987, 
including  new  licensing  procedures  for  attorneys,  notaries, 
bailiffs  and  marshals.   The  Guinean  penal  code  contains 
provisions  for  presumption  of  innocence  of  accused  persons, 
independence  of  judges,  equality  of  citizens  before  the  law. 


128  ^ 


GUINEA 

the  right  of  accused  to  counsel  and  to  appeal  a  judicial 
decision,  and  provisions  for  amnesty.   The  judiciary  has 
courts  of  first  instance,  or  justices  of  the  peace,  at  the 
local  level  and  two  courts  of  appeal  (one  in  Kankan,  one  in 
Conakry).   The  Court  of  Annulment  is  the  Guinean  court  of  last 
appeal . 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  Government  has  stressed  traditional  family  values  and  the 
inviolability  of  the  home.   In  general,  the  CMRN  is  less 
willing  than  the  previous  regime  to  abuse  police  powers.   In 
1987  the  CMRN  increased  police  authority  to  fight  rising 
crime,  but  arbitrary  interference  in  citizens'  lives 
continues,  including  through  police  harassment.   Though  not 
officially  sanctioned,  mail  and  telephone  calls  are  subject  to 
monitoring  in  practice. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  the  Press. 

All  media  are  owned  and  operated  by  the  Government,  and 
freedom  of  the  press  does  not  exist.    The  Guinean  penal  code 
contains  numerous  restrictions  on  speech  and  press  freedoms; 
authors  must  indicate  name,  profession,  and  place  of  residence 
on  every  article  published.   Publications  which  incite  crime 
or  are  contrary  to  good  morals  are  prohibited,  as  are  insult, 
defamation,  and  libel.   The  Ministry  of  Information  and 
Culture  continues  to  act  both  as  administrator  and  censor  and 
has  permitted  some  movement  in  the  direction  of  press 
freedom.   There  was  increased  investigative  reporting  and  more 
noncontroversial  editorials  in  the  government-controlled  media 
during  1987.   Many  foreign  publications  circulate  freely  in 
Guinea,  including  some  critical  of  the  Government,  and  no 
attempt  is  made  to  interfere  with  foreign  radio  broadcasts. 
Foreign  press  reports  have  raised  public  consciousness  of 
human  rights  issues  in  Guinea.   A  cabinet-level  film 
censorship  board  was  established  by  decree  in  July  1987. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Public  gatherings  can  take  place  only  with  the  approval  of  the 
Government.   The  CMRN  has  encouraged  the  formation  of 
nongovernmental  organizations,  and  a  number  were  chartered  by 
the  Guinean  Secretary  of  State  for  Decentralization  in  1987. 
However,  governmental  respect  for  peaceful  assembly  has  not 
been  uniform.   For  example,  meetings  of  the  Rotary  Club  of 
Conakry  were  briefly  suspended  in  late  1986  after  a  government 
official  felt  he  had  been  insulted  by  the  club.   The  Guinean 
penal  code  bans  any  meeting  which  has  an  ethnic  or  racial 
character  or  any  gathering  "whose  nature  threatens  national 
unity. " 

Most  salaried  Guineans--many  of  whom  are  civil  servants--are 
affiliated  with  the  Guinean  National  Labor  Confederation 
(CNTG),  a  relatively  new  organization  with  close  ties  to  the 
Government.   Nongovernment  workers  can  strike  only  with  the 
permission  of  the  CNTG  board,  a  reguirement  which  reduces  the 
likelihood  of  strikes.   The  Government  has  dealt  severely  with 
wildcat  strikers  in  the  past.   In  April  striking  bus  drivers 
returned  to  work  after  strike  leaders  were  summarily 
dismissed.   The  strike  was  not  sanctioned  by  the  CNTG. 
Collective  bargaining  has  taken  place  in  Guinea,  most  notably 


129 


GUINEA 

in  1986  when  the  CNTG  concluded  an  agreement  with  the  mining 
companies.   The  CNTG  maintains  relations  with  recognized 
regional  and  international  bodies,  including  the  International 
Labor  Organization  (ILO). 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Guineans  enjoy  religious  freedom  and  tolerance  of  all  faiths. 
Missionaries  can  proselytize  in  Guinea.   Although  an  estimated 
85  percent  of  the  population  is  at  least  nominally  Muslim, 
there  is  no  official  state  religion.   The  Government  observes 
both  major  Christian  and  Muslim  holidays. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Guineans  are  free  to  move  about  the  country  and  to  change 
place  of  residence  and  work,  although  in  practice  they  face 
harassment  by  police  and  military  at  unauthorized  roadblocks, 
particularly  at  night.   It  is  common  for  individual  citizens 
to  pay  bribes  to  avoid  police  harassment.   The  Government 
acknowledges  that  drug-related  crime  and  juvenile  delinquence 
have  been  increasing,  and  police  patrols  and  authorized 
checkpoints  have  multiplied.   Foreign  travel  for  Guinean 
citizens  is  complex,  involving  considerable  red  tape  to  obtain 
passports  and  required  exit  visas.   Foreigners  are  required  to 
obtain  prior  authorization  for  travel  into  the  interior  of 
Guinea.   Recently  this  authorization  has  been  granted  almost 
routinely. 

The  rapid  increase  in  the  number  of  Western  expatriates  in 
Guinea  since  the  CMRN  seized  power  caused  the  Government  to 
tighten  immigration  and  residence  requirements  for  foreigners 
in  1987.   Foreigners  require  exit  visas  to  leave  Guinea. 
Applications  are  occasionally  delayed.   The  Government  has 
encouraged  Guinean  expatriates,  including  former  exiles  of  the 
Sekou  Toure  regime,  to  return  home.   There  are  still 
significant  numbers  of  Guineans  living  in  neighboring  African 
countries  and  in  France. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Guinea  has  had  no  long-term  experience  with  democracy  since 
independence,  and  citizens  are  unable  to  change  their 
government  under  democratic  procedures.   The  CMRN  banned 
political  parties  when  it  took  power  in  April  1984,  and  formal 
political  activity  does  not  yet  exist  in  Guinea. 
Decentralization  remained  a  major  theme  in  1987,  and  the 
Government  strengthened  development  of  local  government 
advisory  bodies  at  the  village  level  in  rural  areas. 
Nonpartisan  elections  have  taken  place  in  most  parts  of  the 
country,  at  the  subpref ecture  level,  for  selection  of 
officials  responsible  for  local  development  projects,  and 
social  issues.   These  officials  complement  the  subprefects, 
prefects,  and  provincial  governors  appointed  by  the  military 
authorities  in  Conakry. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 
Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Human 
Rights  Violations 

After  the  May  1987  announcement  regarding  the  sentencing  of 
201  persons,  the  CMRN  allowed  Amnesty  International  (AI)  to 
send  a  two-member  team  to  Guinea  to  investigate  the  legal 


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GUINEA 

proceedings  of  the  Court  of  State  Security  and  the  Military 
Court.   The  AI  team  had  access  to  high  level  government 
officials  and  to  families  and  friends  of  the  victims.   The 
Government  permits  a  local  affiliate  of  AI  to  operate. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Racial  or  ethnic  discrimination  is  prohibited  by  the  penal 
code,  but  discrimination  and  mutual  suspicion  still  affect 
relations  across  ethnic  lines  within  and  outside  the 
Government.   The  CMRN  has  made  efforts  to  include 
representatives  of  all  major  ethnic  groups  in  the  Government, 
but  the  Soussou  group,  to  which  President  Conte  belongs, 
predominates  at  the  highest,  most  influential  levels.   The 
Government  repeatedly  urges  Guineans  to  think  of  themselves  as 
a  nation  and  not  as  members  of  a  particular  ethnic  group. 

Women  in  Guinea  enjoy  a  special  status  conferred  by  law  and 
custom.   A  1986  decree  created  a  national  Office  on  the 
Condition  of  Women  in  the  Secretariat  of  State  for  Social 
Affairs.   Guinean  women  have  held  cabinet  posts, 
ambassadorships,  judicial  positions,  and  other  high  level 
government  posts.   Women  are  prominent  in  music,  dance, 
sports,  and  business  throughout  the  country.   Nevertheless,  in 
traditional,  rural  Guinea,  women's  rights  are  more  limited  by 
custom.   Overall,  women  lag  behind  in  school  enrollments  and 
in  employment  opportunities.   The  Government  has  affirmed  the 
principle  of  equal  pay  for  equal  work,  but  in  practice  women 
receive  less  pay  than  men  in  most  jobs. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Children  are  not  usually  employed  in  nonfarm  jobs  outside  the 
family.   Guinea's  labor  and  social  security  laws  provide  for 
modest  compensation  for  work-related  accidents  and  illnesses. 
Guinea's  new  labor  code,  drafted  with  ILO  assistance,  will  set 
higher  standards  for  occupational  health  and  safety,  a 
standardized  workweek,  and  a  minimum  employment  age  of  17. 
Significantly  higher  standards  apply  to  modern  mining  enclaves. 
In  practice,  application  of  labor  standards  and  laws  outside 
the  mining  enclaves  is  highly  variable.   There  is  no  minimum 
wage. 


131 


GUINEA-BISSAU 


The  Republic  of  Guinea-Bissau  adopted  a  constitutional  form  of 
government  in  May  1984,  when  the  4-year-old  Revolutionary 
Council  established  after  the  1980  coup  d'etat  was  abolished. 
Following  the  promulgation  of  the  Constitution,  one-party 
elections  were  held  for  the  National  Popular  Assembly,  which 
in  turn  elected  General  Joao  Bernardo  Vieira  to  a  5-year  term 
as  President  of  the  Council  of  State  and  chose  the  other 
members  of  the  Council.   According  to  the  Constitution,  the 
Assembly  decides  fundamental  questions  of  internal  and 
external  policy,  but  it  meets  infrequently  and  effective  power 
and  day-to-day  control  rests  in  the  hands  of  the  President, 
the  Council  of  State,  and  the  party.   The  President  serves  as 
Head  of  State,  Commander-in-Chief,  and  General  Secretary  of 
Guinea-Bissau's  sole  political  party,  the  African  Party  for 
the  Independence  of  Guinea  and  Cape  Verde  (PAIGC) .   Although 
the  President  is  the  most  powerful  member  of  the  Council, 
decisionmaking  is  collegial  rather  than  autocratic.   The  party 
selects  all  candidates  for  office. 

The  armed  forces  (FARP)  are  responsible  for  state  security, 
both  external  and  internal,  as  mandated  by  the  Constitution. 
The  FARP  leaders  are  usually  members  of  the  PAIGC  and  often 
hold  key  positions  in  the  Politburo  or  Central  Committee. 

Guinea-Bissau  remains  one  of  the  least  developed  nations, 
dependent  upon  foreign  aid  for  its  survival.   The  Government's 
postindependence  efforts  to  exercise  central  control  over  the 
economy  resulted  in  chronic  shortages  of  most  basic 
commodities,  high  unemployment,  and  a  weak  national  currency. 
In  1987  the  Government,  continuing  a  program  of  economic 
reform  which  began  in  late  1983,  imposed  a  series  of  severe 
austerity  measures  to  stimulate  agricultural  production  and 
promote  a  shift  from  a  state-run  centralized  economy  to  a  free 
market  system.   While  the  1987  reforms  resulted  in  strong 
growth  of  the  private  sector,  inflation  remained  high  and  the 
urban  populations  witnessed  a  sharp  drop  in  their  standard  of 
living  and  purchasing  power. 

Persons  accused  of  political  crimes  are  tried  by  military 
tribunals.   Approximately  40  men  remain  imprisoned  on  an 
island  in  the  Bijagos  Archipelago.   Most  of  these  prisoners 
are  serving  sentences  for  complicity  in  a  plot  to  overthrow 
President  Vieira  in  October  1985.   There  have  been  no 
executions  since  six  leaders  of  the  1985  plot  were  executed  in 
July  1986. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  officially  inspired  political  killing. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  known  cases  of  disappearance. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

There  were  no  known  instances  of  torture  and  other  cruel, 
inhuman,  or  degrading  treatment  or  punishment  in  1987.   The 


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Constitution  prohibits  cruel  and  inhuman  punishment.   However, 
prison  conditions  are  unsanitary  and  cramped,  and  interrogation 
methods  are  severe.   Prisoners'  families  routinely  bring  them 
food  and  medical  supplies. 

Amnesty  International  (AI)  received  reports  in  1986  that  some 
of  the  detainees  arrested  in  connection  with  the  1985  coup 
plot  had  been  beaten  and  otherwise  ill-treated. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Arrests  in  Guinea-Bissau  are  frequently  arbitrary,  as  arrest 
procedures  are  undefined  and  the  use  of  arrest  warrants  is  the 
exception  rather  than  the  rule.   The  modern  legal  system, 
inherited  from  the  Portuguese  colonial  regime  but  modified  by 
the  Constitution,  includes  important  procedural  rights,  such 
as  the  right  to  counsel  and  the  right  to  a  judicial 
determination  of  the  legality  of  detention.   Bail  procedures 
are  observed  erratically.   The  Government  has  on  occasion 
detained  members  of  movements  deemed  hostile  to  the  regime, 
such  as  the  Yanque-Yanque  religious  movement.   The  Government 
has  the  legal  right  to  exile  prisoners  but  did  not  do  so  in 
1987. 

There  is  no  forced  or  compulsory  labor  in  Guinea-Bissau. 
Conscientious  objectors  are  not  exempt  from  military  service. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Traditional  law  still  prevails  in  most  rural  areas,  and  many 
urban  dwellers  continue  to  bring  judicial  disputes  to 
recognized  traditional  counsellors.   The  official  judicial 
system  is  based  on  the  Portuguese  model.   With  some  exceptions, 
intervals  between  arrest  and  trial  are  often  lengthy.   All 
defense  lawyers  are  court-appointed,  as  private  legal  practice 
is  prohibited.   The  judiciary  is  a  part  of  the  executive 
branch.   Trials  involving  state  security  usually  are  not  open 
to  outside  observers  and  are  conducted  by  military  tribunals. 
FARP  members  are  tried  by  military  courts  for  all  offenses. 
The  Supreme  Court  is  the  final  court  of  appeal  for  both 
civilian  and  military  cases  except  those  involving  national 
security  matters,  in  which  instance  the  Council  of  State 
reviews  all  decisions. 

The  1986  trials  of  former  Vice  President  of  the  Council  of 
State,  Colonel  Paulo  Correia,  and  55  others  took  place  before 
the  Superior  Military  Tribunal,  the  highest  military  court. 
The  12  persons  sentenced  to  death  appealed  to  the  Council  of 
State  for  clemency  and,  as  a  result,  6  had  their  death 
sentences  commuted  to  15-year  prison  terms.   AI  attended  one 
session  of  the  trial,  and  its  1987  report  states  it  informed 
the  Government  of  its  concern  that  the  trial  had  not  conformed 
to  international  standards  of  fairness.   However,  it  noted 
there  had  been  an  invited  audience  and  the  defendants  had 
legal  counsel. 

Of  those  convicted  in  the  1986  trials  described  above,  an 
estimated  40  men  remain  incarcerated  at  a  prison  labor  camp  on 
an  island  in  the  Bijagos  Archipelago.   Although  isolated  from 
outside  observers,  the  prisoners  are  reportedly  under  light 
guard  and  are  responsible  for  growing  much  of  their  own  food. 


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GUINEA-BISSAU 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  Constitution  guarantees  the  inviolability  of  domicile, 
person,  and  correspondence.   These  guarantees  are  not  always 
respected  in  cases  of  serious  crimes  or  state  security  when, 
for  example,  the  use  of  search  warrants  is  rare.   International 
and  domestic  mail  is  subject  to  surveillance  and  censorship. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Constitution  guarantees  freedom  of  intellectual,  artistic, 
and  scientific  expression,  with  the  significant  exception  of 
cases  in  which  these  rights  are  exercised  in  a  manner  "contrary 
to  the  promotion  of  social  progress."   In  fact,  the  Government 
controls  all  information  media  and  views  the  press  as  a  vehicle 
of  the  party.   Self-censorship  by  journalists  is  common; 
however,  some  criticism  and  questioning  of  policies  is 
permitted,  although  never  of  individual  officials.   In  1987 
one  journalist  was  fired  from  the  national  radio  station 
following  an  interview  with  a  minister  during  which  he 
allegedly  asked  hostile  questions. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of  assembly  and 
association,  and  Government  approval  is  not  required  for 
peaceful  assemblies  and  demonstrations.   However,  all  existing 
organizations  and  associations  are  linked  to  the  Government  or 
the  party,  including  the  sole  labor  union,  the  National  Union 
of  the  Workers  of  Guinea-Bissau  (UNTG) ,  and  antigovernment 
meetings  are  not  tolerated. 

The  UNTG  is  affiliated  with  the  Communist-controlled  World 
Federation  of  Trade  Unions  and  is  a  member  of  the  Organization 
of  African  Trade  Union  Unity.   Strikes,  while  not  specifically 
forbidden,  do  not  occur.   The  manufacturing  sector  is  extremely 
small  and  many  major  enterprises  are  state  owned.   The 
overwhelming  majority  of  salaried  workers  are  employees  of  the 
State,  and  the  UNTG  is  forbidden  to  organize  these  public 
workers . 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Religious  freedom  is  guaranteed  by  the  Constitution  and  has 
been  respected.   Christians,  Muslims,  and  animists  worship 
freely,  and  proselytizing  is  permitted.   However,  the 
Government  is  concerned  over  a  new  and  growing  religious 
movement  known  as  the  Yanque-Yanque .   This  movement,  founded  a 
few  years  ago  by  a  woman  who  claims  to  receive  visions  and  to 
have  healing  powers,  finds  its  support  mainly  among  young 
people  of  the  Balanta  tribe.   Yanque-Yanque  is  a  monotheistic 
religion  which  rejects  traditional  animist.  Christian,  and 
Muslim  values  and  is  characterized  by  unusual  and  sometimes 
violent  rituals  which  include  the  taking  of  a  locally  produced 
narcotic  mixture.   These  rituals  have  occasionally  caused 
physical  harm  to  participants  and  even  to  persons  outside  the 
movement.   The  Yanque-Yanque  reject  modern  social  and  economic 
structures  including,  by  implication,  the  Government.   While 
Yanque-Yanque  does  not  presently  constitute  a  political 
movement,  the  Government  has  maintained  surveillance  on 
members  and  occasionally  questioned,  detained,  and  even 
arrested  its  leaders  on  narcotics  charges.   The  occasional 


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GUINEA-BISSAU 

taking  of  drugs,  without  any  legal  repercussions,  is 
characteristic  of  the  rituals  of  some  other  local  religions. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Citizens  are  allowed  to  move  freely  throughout  Guinea-Bissau. 
Foreign  travel  is  not  restricted,  nor  is  citizenship  revoked 
for  political  reasons.   Thousands  of  persons  have  emigrated 
for  economic  reasons.   Return  of  expatriates  is  encouraged, 
although  the  1986  deaths  of  two  opposition  members  in  a 
mysterious  car  accident  during  their  forced  repatriation  from 
Senegal  convinced  some  government  opponents  that  they  would 
not  be  welcomed  back  to  Guinea-Bissau.   While  sympathetic  to 
the  principal  of  asylum,  Guinea-Bissau  does  not  host 
significant  numbers  of  refugees. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  present'  political  system  makes  no  provisions  for 
democratic  change  of  government.   Guinea-Bissau  is  led  by  the 
PAIGC  party  and  military  (FAR?)  elite,  headed  by  President 
Joao  Bernardo  Vieira.   By  the  terms  of  the  Constitution,  all 
political  activity  must  take  place  within  the  party/state 
structure.   The  1984  electoral  slates  for  the  National  Popular 
Assembly  at  the  district,  regional,  and  national  levels  were 
party-prepared  lists.   The  President,  members  of  the  Council 
of  State,  and  National  Popular  Assembly  deputies  are  elected 
to  5-year  terms.   There  are  provisions  for  constitutional 
amendments  and  national  referendums  to  be  initiated  by  the 
National  Popular  Assembly.   No  single  ethnic  group  dominates 
party/government  positions,  but  Papel  and  Creole  (mixed-race) 
groups,  predominantly  located  in  and  around  the  capital  of 
Bissau,  have  disproportionate  representation  in  the  Government. 
Women  have  legal  equality  with  men  and  hold  some  influential 
jobs  in  the  party  and  the  Government.   The  current  Minister  for 
Labor  and  Social  Security  and  the  President  of  the  National 
Popular  Assembly  are  both  women. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

Although  international  human  rights  groups  have  visited 
Guinea-Bissau,  their  visits  have  always  been  tightly 
controlled.   The  Government  invited  an  AI  mission  to  visit  in 
1986.   AI  delegates  held  discussions  in  June  1986  with 
President  Vieira  and  many  other  officials  and,  as  noted, 
attended  one  session  of  the  trial  of  Correia  and  others. 
There  are  no  local  human  rights  groups  in  Guinea-Bissau. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  population  of  Guinea-Bissau  comprises  diverse  tribal 
groups,  each  with  its  own  language,  customs,  and  social 
organization.   The  Fula,  Mandinga,  Balanta,  Manjaca,  and  Papel 
are  important  groups.   Creoles  enjoy  an  advantageous  position 
within  the  society  due  to  their  generally  higher  level  of 
education  and  their  links  abroad.   Although  the  President  and 
other  influential  leaders  regularly  urge  the  nation  to 
overcome  ethnic  differences,  the  perception  of  economic 
dominance  by  Creoles  (and  to  a  lesser  extent  Fulas)  has 
created  resentment  among  other  ethnic  communities.   Most  of 


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GUINEA-BISSAU 

the  defendants  in  the  1986  coup  trial  were  members  of  the 
Balanta  ethnic  group. 

Discrimination  against  women,  while  officially  prohibited, 
continues  within  certain  ethnic  groups,  especially  the  Muslim 
Fulas  and  Mandinkas  of  the  North  and  East.   Among  those  groups 
female  genital  mutilation  is  still  practiced,  despite  official 
prohibition  and  educational  campaigns  against  this  custom. 
Women  enjoy  higher  status  in  the  societies  of  the  Balanta, 
Papel,  and  Bijagos  groups  living  mainly  in  the  southern 
coastal  region. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

In  an  overwhelmingly  rural  and  agricultural  society, 
traditional  division  of  labor  practices  both  between  sexes  and 
age  groups  continue  to  prevail.   Children  in  all  rural 
communities  work  in  the  fields  and  at  home  for  no  pay.   The 
Government  does  not  attempt  to  discourage  this  practice  and  in 
fact  delays  the  opening  of  schools  until  the  rice  season  has 
ended.   Even  in  the  small  modern  sector,  labor  laws  are 
ill-defined  and  unevenly  enforced  in  Guinea-Bissau,  due 
primarily  to  the  extreme  economic  underdevelopment  of  the 
society.   However,  there  are  government  regulations  covering 
such  matters  as  job-related  disabilities  and  vacation  rights, 
and  the  Government  in  1987  approved  a  new  labor  code  which  set 
a  minimum  age  of  14  for  general  factory  labor  and  of  18  for 
heavy  or  dangerous  labor,  including  all  labor  in  mines.  The 
normal  workweek  is  35  hours.   There  is  no  minimum  wage. 


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Kenya,  which  has  had  an  elected,  civilian  government  since  its 
independence  in  1963,  has  been  a  de  facto  one-party  state 
almost  from  independence,  and  a  de  jure  one-party  state  since 
1982.   The  President,  Daniel  T.  arap  Moi,  maintains  firm 
control  over  both  the  Government  and  the  party,  the  Kenyan 
African  National  Union  (KANU) .   The  party  must  approve  all 
candidates  for  political  office.   In  1986  there  was  greater 
centralization  of  power  in  the  KANU  leadership.   In  1987  the 
Government  reaffirmed  its  commitment  to  instituting  a  new 
queuing  (nonsecret)  system  of  voting  in  party  preliminary 
nominations.   The  queuing  system,  however,  has  not  yet  been 
actually  implemented.   The  popularly  elected  National  Assembly 
of  158  members,  plus  up  to  12  members  appointed  by  the 
President,  is  usually  involved  in  local  and  regional  issues 
and  in  responding  to  the  executive's  initiatives,  e.g.,  in 
approving  the  controversial  constitutional  amendment  in 
December  1986  which  gave  the  President  increased  powers  over 
the  Attorney  General  and  the  Auditor  General.   Within  the 
one-party  system  there  has  been  considerable  electoral 
competition  for  parliamentary  seats.   Under  the  Constitution, 
elections  for  Parliament  must  be  held  every  5  years,  and 
parliamentary  elections,  last  held  in  1983,  are  expected  in 
1988. 

The  Kenyan  Armed  Forces  constitute  a  small,  professional 
establishment  with  a  total  strength  of  about  22,000  members. 
Kenya's  internal  security  apparatus  includes  the  Kenyan  Special 
Branch  and  Criminal  Investigation  Division  Police,  and  is  used 
to  monitor  and  control  persons  whom  the  State  considers 
subversive.   Kenya's  Preservation  of  Public  Security  Act 
provides  for  detention  for  an  indefinite  period  without  trial 
in  national  security  cases. 

Kenya's  market-oriented,  modern  economy  includes  a 
well-developed  private  sector  for  trade  and  light 
manufacturing,  as  well  as  an  agricultural  sector  that  produces 
sufficent  food  for  local  consumption  and  significant  exports 
of  coffee,  tea,  and  other  commodities.   In  1987  lower  world 
coffee  prices  contributed,  however,  to  a  growing  balance  of 
payments  problem.   Economic  growth  continues,  but  at  a  slower 
rate;  unemployment  continues  to  be  a  serious  and  growing 
problem. 

Kenyans  are  free  to  engage  in  private  economic  activity,  own 
property,  belong  to  trade  unions,  practice  most  religions, 
move  freely  within  the  country  and  travel  abroad. 
Nevertheless,  human  rights  concerns  in  Kenya  sharply  increased 
in  1986-87  amid  reports  of  torture  of  prisoners,  the  detention 
of  persons  without  charges,  and  questions  about  the  fairness 
of  trials  of  alleged  subversives.   In  most  of  the  cases  against 
those  alleged  to  have  ties  with  Mwakenya,  a  clandestine 
dissident  organization,  prisoners  were  held  incommunicado  for 
prolonged  periods  without  legal  representation.   There  have 
been  credible  reports  that  in  some  cases  confessions  were 
extracted  through  torture  or  ill-treatment  or  the  threat  of 
such  treatment.   Some  reports  indicated  that  between  200  to 
300  persons  were  detained  temporarily  in  1986,  mainly  on 
suspicion  of  belonging  to  Mwakenya.   In  1987  the  number  of 
arrests  and  convictions  for  Mwakenya  activities  declined,  and 
there  were  fewer  allegations  of  mistreatment.   The  Government 
of  Kenya  acknowledged  that  14  people  were  held  without  trial 
under  the  Public  Security  Act  during  1987,  nine  of  whom  had 
been  detained  in  1986  and  two  in  1987.   Three  of  these 
detainees  were  released  in  December  1987. 


137 


KENYA 


RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 


SECTION  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  political  assassinations  in  Kenya  in  1987. 
There  was  a  death  in  police  custody  of  a  businessman  being 
held  for  investigation  for  links  to  Mwakenya .   Evidence  also 
emerged  of  a  similar  death  of  a  carpenter  in  police  custody  in 
1986.   In  both  instances,  families  have  asked  for 
investigations,  alleging  that  death  resulted  from  abusive 
treatment.   Public  judicial  inquests  into  these  deaths  (Peter 
Karanja  and  Stephen  Wanjema)  were  under  way  in  late  1987,  but 
had  not  reached  any  conclusions  by  the  end  of  the  year. 
Altogether,  4  persons  are  known  to  have  died  in  police  custody 
(see  below)  under  ambiguous  circumstances. 

b.  Disappearance 

Although  Kenyan  law  requires  that  an  arrested  person  be 
brought  before  a  court  or  released  within  "a  reasonable  period 
of  time,"  Kenyan  authorities  have  held  people  for  prolonged 
periods  without  formal  charges.   In  some  cases,  authorities 
have  detained  persons  and  have  failed  to  acknowledge  the  fact 
when  inquiries  were  made.   According  to  Amnesty  International 
and  local  reports,  at  least  25  people  were  held  in  this 
fashion  in  1987  before  it  was  confirmed  that  they  were  in 
police  custody.   Some  were  later  released,  and  others  were 
formally  charged.   Two  were  later  officially  detained  under 
the  Preservation  of  Public  Security  Act.   In  a  case  currently 
before  the  courts,  the  wife  of  a  missing  Kiambu  farmer  learned 
that  her  husband  had  been  shot  by  the  police  only  after  she 
retained  a  lawyer  and  filed  for  habeas  corpus.   Police  stated 
that  they  had  shot  the  man,  who  had  been  arrested  on  suspicion 
of  robbery,  while  he  was  trying  to  escape.   Despite  a  court 
order  that  the  police  produce  the  body  for  examination  by 
independent  experts,  5  months  after  the  case  began  the  police 
had  not  done  so. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Torture  is  officially  proscribed  under  the  Constitution. 
Nevertheless,  allegations  of  torture  have  been  made,  and  in 
some  cases  evidence  of  it  has  been  introduced  in  the  Kenyan 
courts.   Torture  has  been  cited  in  the  Kenyan  press  and  has 
been  noted  by  human  rights  organizations  and  in  the 
international  media.   Several  persons  detained  on  suspicion  of 
security-related  offenses  have  stated  that  they  were  tortured 
by  officers  of  the  Special  Branch  and  Criminal  Investigation 
Division  police  at  their  headquarters  in  Nairobi.   Reported 
methods  of  torture  included  confinement  for  lengthy  periods  in 
a  basement  cell  flooded  with  about  2  inches  of  water,  severe 
beatings,  deprivation  of  food  and  sleep,  and  various  forms  of 
intimidation. 

In  February  1987,  a  Nairobi  lawyer,  Gibson  Kamau  Kuria, 
submitted  notices  to  sue  the  Government  for  illegal  detention 
and  torture  on  behalf  of  four  incarcerated  persons,  one  of 
whom  had  died  in  custody.   The  lawyer  was  himself  detained 
shortly  thereafter  under  the  Preservation  of  Public  Security 
Act.   Kuria  along  with  two  other  detainees  was  released 
December  12.   His  cases  against  the  Government  have  not  yet 


138 


been  heard.   Several  defendants  in  Mwakenya  trials  have 
complained  in  court  that  their  confessions  were  the  result  of 
torture.   Presiding  magistrates  in  these  cases  have  not 
inquired  into  these  alleged  offenses.   In  April  1987,  President 
Moi  announced  a  clean-up  of  the  police  forces.   According  to 
the  Kenyan  authorities,  19  policemen  have  subsequently  been 
investigated  or  charged.   At  the  end  of  1987,  however,  the 
Government  had  publicly  investigated  or  prosecuted  few  if  any 
of  the  alleged  abuses. 

In  nonpolitical  cases,  abuse  of  prisoners  has  also  occurred. 
Several  allegations  of  such  mistreatment  were  reported  in  the 
Kenyan  and  international  press  in  1987.   Two  people,  a  Ugandan 
teacher  from  Kisii  in  western  Kenya  and  a  farmer  from  Kiambu 
(mentioned  above),  died  in  police  custody,  apparently  at  police 
hands.   The  police  in  the  first  of  these  cases  were  acquitted. 
The  second  case  is  still  being  pursued  in  court  by  the  victim's 
family.   In  a  Bungoma  case,  a  magistrate  ordered  a  defendant 
to  be  taken  to  the  hospital  after  seeing  injuries  allegedly 
inflicted  by  the  police.   In  two  other  recent  instances, 
defendants  have  stated  in  court  that  they  had  been  mistreated 
by  the  police.   In  cases  where  torture  has  been  alleged,  the 
Kenyan  courts  have  ruled  that  due  process  required  the 
dismissal  of  illegally  obtained  confessions.   A  magistrate  in 
a  Nairobi  case  ruled  that  statements  taken  from  two  defendants 
were  inadmissible  because  they  had  been  tortured  during 
interrogation.   In  a  well-publicized  case  in  Machakos,  14 
people  were  acquitted  after  confessing  to  murder  when  a  court 
upheld  their  claims  of  having  been  tortured  into  making 
confessions . 

Prison  conditions  in  Kenya  are  poor.   Detainees  and  prisoners 
have  complained  of  beatings,  poor  food,  lack  of  access  to 
medical  care,  and  inadequate  facilities.   Prisoners  often  are 
required  to  sleep  on  cold,  cement  floors.   The  Preservation  of 
Public  Security  Act  allows  detainees  to  be  held  in  solitary 
confinement,  with  no  outside  contact  with  family  or  legal 
counsel,  although  in  some  cases  lawyers  and  family  members 
have  been  allowed  to  visit  detainees.   Correspondence  with 
prisoners  is  monitored  and  occasionally  not  delivered. 
Prisoners  are  allowed  one  short  visit  per  month  by  family 
members.   Prison  or  security  officials  are  usually  present 
when  detainees  or  prisoners  consult  with  attorneys  or  family 
members . 

d.   Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

The  Constitution  provides  that  any  arrested  or  detained  person 
(except  those  under  the  Preservation  of  Public  Security  Act) 
shall  be  brought  before  a  court  "as  soon  as  is  reasonably 
practicable,"  and  that  if  such  person  is  not  brought  within  24 
hours  of  his  arrest  or  from  the  commencement  of  his  detention, 
the  burden  of  explanation  is  on  the  authorities.   In  practice, 
however,  many  arrested  persons  are  held  for  long  periods 
without  being  charged  or  taken  before  the  courts.   In  November, 
six  students  were  held  for  13  days  without  charge  after  their 
arrests  on  the  University  of  Nairobi  campus.   Five  of  these 
were  released  on  bonds  of  good  conduct.   After  15  days  of 
detention  without  charge,  the  sixth  student  pleaded  guilty  to 
a  charge  of  providing  information  to  the  Libyan  Embassy  in 
Nairobi.   In  one  instance  in  1987,  an  American  citizen  was 
held  for  questioning  for  more  than  24  hours  without  charge  and 
without  access  to  a  lawyer.   Another  American  citizen  was 
jailed  for  3  months  without  notification  to  the  U.S.  Embassy. 


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Although  Embassy  officers  eventually  gained  access  to  him,  an 
initial  effort  to  see  him  was  prohibited  by  prison  officials. 

Mwakenya  is  a  Marxist-oriented  organization  which  is  illegal 
under  Kenyan  law  because  it  is  clandestine  and  advocates  the 
overthrow  of  the  Kenyan  Government.   Those  Mwakenya  suspects 
who  have  been  charged  have  generally  been  charged  with  taking 
an  illegal  oath  to  the  organization  or  for  possession  of  its 
literature.   In  its  1987  Report,  Amnesty  International 
indicated  that  over  200  persons  had  been  arrested  in  1986, 
mainly  for  suspected  ties  to  Mwakenya.   The  number  of  persons 
apprehended  in  1987  for  possible  Mwakenya  connections  appears 
to  have  decreased.   In  Mwakenya  cases,  suspects  have  been 
arrested  secretly  and  held  incommunicado  for  several  weeks 
before  being  charged  and  taken  before  a  magistrate  or  being 
officially  detained  under  the  Preservation  of  Public  Security 
Act,  which  allows  for  indefinite  detention  without  trial  or 
charge.   In  these  cases  detainees  have  been  permitted  neither 
legal  counsel  nor  access  to  family  during  the  period  of 
incarceration  prior  to  trial.   During  this  period  of 
incommunicado  detention,  many  Mwakenya  suspects  have  made 
confessions  on  which  they  have  subsequently  been  convicted. 
There  have  been  credible  reports  that  some  of  these  confessions 
were  extracted  through  torture  and  ill-treatment.   Some 
observers  have  also  suggested  that  Mwakenya  suspects,  faced 
with  the  options  of  indefinite  detention  under  the 
Preservation  of  Public  Security  Act  or  a  definite  term  in 
prison  based  on  a  confession  and  conviction,  chose  the 
latter.   At  the  end  of  1987,  the  Government  claimed  it  was 
holding  11  persons  under  the  Preservation  of  Public  Security 
Act.   Nine  of  the  11  were  detained  in  1986  and  1987. 

Neither  exile  nor  the  threat  of  exile  is  used  by  the  Government 
as  a  means  of  intimidation  or  punishment.   Self-exile  is  a 
course  of  action  sometimes  chosen  by  Kenyan  dissidents. 
Several  Kenyans  have  moved  to  foreign  countries  and  announced 
that  they  will  not  return  to  Kenya  for  fear  of  persecution  by 
the  Government.   One  of  the  self-exiled  individuals  stated 
publicly  that  he  was  willing  to  assume  the  leadership  of  the 
Mwakenya  movement.   In  some  cases,  the  Government  states  that 
these  exiles  are  wanted  for  questioning  for  possible  criminal 
charges  in  Kenya,  although  in  most  cases  the  exiles  have  not 
been  formally  charged  with  crimes.   The  Government  has  invited 
some  of  the  exiles  to  return  and  publicly  announced  that  they 
would  be  safe  in  Kenya.   In  1987  none  of  the  people  who  had 
chosen  exile  abroad  accepted  the  offer  to  return. 

Kenya  has  not  ratified  the  International  Labor  Organization 
(ILO)  convention  No.  105  on  The  Universal  Abolition  of  Forced 
Labor.   Forced  labor  is  not  practiced  in  Kenya. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Although  Kenyans  have  a  constitutional  right  to  a  fair  public 
trial,  this  right  has  been  circumscribed  in  most  cases 
involving  alleged  Mwakenya  membership  or  involvement.   In  1986 
at  least  52  people  were  convicted  for  involvement  with 
Mwakenya,  with  another  28  such  convictions  in  1987.   In  most 
of  these  cases,  defendants  were  charged  with  membership  in, 
and  taking  an  unlawful  oath  to,  a  subversive  organization, 
possessing  seditious  literature,  or  failing  to  report  the 
existence  of  such  literature.   The  Mwakenya  trials  are  held  in 
a  magistrate's  court,  open  to  the  public,  but  usually  held 
late  in  the  afternoon  without  prior  announcement,  so  that  the 
defendants'  family  and  the  press  were  often  unaware  of  the 


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time  of  the  trial.   Most  of  the  defendants  have  been  held 
incommunicado  without  charges  for  significant  periods  before 
the  trial.   None  of  the  defendants  has  been  represented  by 
legal  counsel  or  allowed  to  present  witnesses.   In  most  cases, 
the  defendants  have  not  spoken  during  the  trial.   In  all 
Mwakenya  trials,  the  defendants  have  pleaded  guilty.   In  most 
cases,  the  guilty  plea  was  the  only  evidence  presented  against 
them  in  very  brief  magistrate  court  trials.   In  Kenya,  appeal 
of  the  verdict  is  not  allowed  when  a  guilty  plea  is  entered. 
However,  appeal  of  sentence  is  permitted. 

The  Kenyan  judiciary  usually  exhibits  considerable 
independence,  although  the  Government  has  reportedly  put 
pressure  on  judges  in  sensitive  cases.   High  Court  justices 
are  appointed  and  dismissed  solely  at  the  pleasure  of  the 
President  and  are  thus  susceptible  to  executive  pressure.   In 
one  1987  case  involving  the  death  of  a  robbery  suspect  in 
police  custody,  a  judge  was  taken  off  the  case  by  the  Chief 
Justice  after  he  had  threatened  to  hold  in  contempt  a  high- 
ranking  security  official.   In  October  1987,  Kenya's  Solicitor 
General  was  put  on  compulsory  leave  by  the  Attorney  General 
without  public  explanation.   The  Solicitor  General  was  later 
replaced.   In  cases  involving  detention  under  the  Preservation 
of  Public  Security  Act,  judicial  authority  is  limited  to 
ensuring  compliance  with  procedural  provisions.   In  most  other 
cases,  the  right  to  a  fair  public  trial  is  usually  observed, 
although  long  delays  and  postponements  are  common. 

Civilians  are  tried  in  civilian  courts,  and  verdicts  may  be 
appealed  to  the  Kenyan  High  Court.   Military  personnel  are 
tried  by  military  courts,  and  verdicts  may  be  appealed.   Judge 
advocates  are  appointed  on  a  case-by-case  basis  by  the  Chief 
Justice.   Members  of  the  press  regularly  attend  and  report  on 
court  proceedings,  both  civilian  and  military.   Kenyans  do  not 
have  a  right  to  representation  by  legal  counsel,  except  in 
certain  capital  cases.   Most,  but  not  all,  persons  tried  for 
capital  crimes  are  provided  counsel  free  of  charge  if  they 
cannot  afford  it.   The  Government's  action  in  detaining 
without  trial  an  attorney  who  had  brought  charges  of  illegal 
detention  and  torture  on  behalf  of  four  political  detainees 
could  have  the  effect  of  intimidating  vigorous  legal 
representation  in  security  cases  (see  Section  I.e.). 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Search  warrants  are  not  required  under  the  Constitution  in 
certain  specified  instances  "to  promote  the  public  benefit," 
which  include  security  cases.   Security  officials  sometimes 
conduct  searches  without  court  warrants  to  apprehend  suspected 
criminals  or  seize  property  believed  to  be  stolen.   The  homes 
of  suspected  dissidents  have  been  entered  and  searched  for 
subversive  or  incriminating  documents.   Numerous  rooms  in 
University  of  Nairobi  residence  halls  were  entered  without 
warrants  during  the  November  disturbances.   Security  forces 
reportedly  employ  a  variety  of  surveillance  techniques, 
including  electronic  surveillance  and  a  network  of  informers. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Although  the  Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of  speech  and 
press,  the  exercise  of  such  rights  is  to  some  extent 
restricted.   The  range  of  allowable  discussion  in  the 


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Parliament  is  broad  on  local  affairs,  but  no  criticism  of  the 
President  is  tolerated,  and  national  issues  such  as  foreign 
affairs  are  rarely  discussed.   In  1986  one  Member  of 
Parliament,  who  had  twice  voted  against  the  constitutional 
amendment  increasing  the  power  of  the  President  over  the 
Attorney  General  and  the  Auditor  General,  was  ordered  out  of 
the  Parliament  building  by  the  Speaker  for  the  third  vote 
because  he  refused  to  apologize  for  certain  comments  he  had 
made.   He  and  one  other  Member  of  Parliament  were  briefly  held 
by  the  police  without  charge  in  January  1987. 

There  is  no  systematic  or  formal  censorship  of  the  press, 
although  the  press  practices  self-censorship.   The  press 
confines  commentary  within  widely  understood  but  legally 
undefined  limits.   As  an  example,  the  press  criticizes 
government  policies  and  occasionally  reports  unflattering  news 
about  government  officials,  but  never  criticizes  the  President. 
At  times  the  Government  intervenes  to  tell  editors  how  to 
handle  sensitive  stories.   Pressure  has  been  brought  on 
journalists  and  publications  considered  to  have  strayed  too 
far  from  the  government  line.   Some  journalists  have  been 
fired  by  their  news  organizations,  and  several  imprisoned  for 
seditious  activities  in  the  past  18  months.   The  Kenyan  press 
has  reported  a  number  of  the  Mwakenya  case  trials,  even  though 
these  were  not  announced  in  advance.   In  one  instance,  a 
Mwakenya  trial  was  canceled  when  the  court  apparently  realized 
that  members  of  the  press  were  present.   A  Kenyan  journalist, 
Paul  Amina,  known  to  have  covered  some  Mwakenya  cases,  was 
detained  in  August  1987  under  the  Preservation  of  Public 
Security  regulations  and  held  incommunicado.   In  November  two 
Voice  of  Kenya  employees  were  detained  without  charge,  but 
both  were  subsequently  released. 

Government  criticism  of  outspoken  clergymen  and  politicians, 
as  well  as  the  detention  provisions  of  the  Preservation  of 
Public  Security  Act,  discourage  public  exchange  of  views  on 
some  political  topics.   In  1987  the  Government  increasingly 
criticized  foreign  journalists  for  alleged  bias  and 
prevarication  in  their  human  rights  reporting  on  Kenya.   On 
November  4,  Western  journalists  covering  university 
disturbances  were  beaten  by  police  at  the  scene  of  the 
disturbances  and  briefly  detained,  although  they  had 
identified  themselves  as  members  of  the  foreign  press.   A 
positive  sign  has  been  that  the  Kenyan  press  has  been  willing 
in  some  cases  to  deal  with  such  issues  as  torture  and 
allegations  of  police  corruption  and  brutality. 

Privately  owned  newspapers  and  journals  are  published  in 
Kenya.   Newspapers,  magazines,  and  books  from  abroad  are 
readily  available.   Books  by  Kenyan  dissidents  in  self-exile 
abroad  have  been  reviewed  by  the  local  press  and  are  available 
in  Kenya.   However,  in  1986  a  Nairobi  newspaper  published  a 
list  of  18  publications  that  are  prohibited  in  Kenya.   More 
than  100  foreign  journalists  representing  major  Western  news 
organizations  are  based  in  Kenya. 

Kenya  has  a  10-12  member  film  censorship  board  under  the 
supervision  of  the  Ministry  of  Culture  and  Social  Sciences. 
While  the  board  must  approve  all  films  shown  in  Kenya,  a 
variety  of  uncut  foreign  films  are  available.   A  10-member 
television  censorship  board  has  established  guidelines  that 
govern  what  can  be  shown  on  television.   The  single  television 
station  and  all  radio  stations  are  owned  and  controlled  by  the 
Government . 


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b.   Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  rights  of  freedom  of  assembly  and  association  provided  for 
in  the  Constitution  are  limited  by  the  Public  Order  and  Police 
Act,  which  gives  local  authorities  wide  powers  to  control 
public  gatherings,  defined  as  three  or  more  persons.   It  is 
illegal  to  convene  an  unlicensed  meeting,  and  politicians  have 
been  investigated  or  arrested  for  violations  of  this  statute. 
Licenses  to  hold  public  meetings  are  rarely  denied.   When 
denied,  the  grounds  usually  are  that  the  proposed  meeting  might 
disturb  civil  order.   With  the  exception  of  civil  servants,  who 
are  required  to  join  KANU,  Kenyans  are  not  officially  required 
to  join  any  political  organization.   Some  Kenyans  have 
complained  of  intimidation  and  harassment  during  local  KANU 
membership  drives.   Party  membership  has  in  fact  become  a  test 
of  one's  loyalty  to  the  Government.   The  party  and  the 
Government  both  emphasize,  however,  that  party  membership  is 
strictly  voluntary. 

Labor  unions  enjoy  the  right  to  organize  freely,  but  the  right 
to  strike  is  severely  curtailed.   The  only  trade  union 
confederation,  the  Central  Organization  of  Trade  Unions 
(COTU) ,  is  affiliated  with  the  Organization  of  African  Trade 
Union  Unity  and  maintains  friendly  relations  (though  not 
affiliation)  with  the  International  Confederation  of  Free 
Trade  Unions  (ICFTU).   COTU  also  sends  observers  to  the 
congress  of  World  Federation  of  Trade  Unions.   Individual 
unions  in  COTU  are  permitted  to  belong  to  international  trade 
secretariats . 

Employers  are  also  free  to  organize  and  have  formed  the 
Federation  of  Kenyan  Employers  (FKE)  which  along  with  COTU 
sends  representatives  to  the  annual  ILO  meeting  in  Geneva. 
The  Government  has  formally  constituted  a  tripartite  committee 
of  government,  FKE,  and  COTU  representatives  which  regularly 
meets  to  discuss  a  wide  range  of  labor  issues.   In  1987  a 
Civil  Service  Association  was  formed  but  without  the  right  to 
bargain  collectively  or  to  strike.   Kenyan  law  permits  an  open 
shop  whereby  workers  are  given  a  choice  whether  or  not  to  join 
a  union  and  provides  for  a  check-off  system  for  the  collection 
of  union  dues . 

Complex  labor  legislation  renders  strikes  virtually  illegal. 
Strikes  are  permitted  only  when  the  Ministry  of  Labor  has  not 
taken  action  toward  resolution  within  21  days  from  the  formal 
declaration  of  a  dispute.   In  August,  after  almost  1  month  of 
an  illegal  strike  by  factory  workers  in  Thika,  the  Government 
intervened  to  end  the  strike  when  other  unions  joined  it. 
Wildcat  strikes  do  occur;  city  workers  stopped  work  for  a  day 
in  December  to  protest  the  Government's  failure  to  pay  wages 
overdue  since  August.   Sympathy  strikes,  however,  are  illegal. 
Most  union  disputes  are  settled  by  the  parties  themselves  or 
by  appealing  to  the  Industrial  Relations  Court,  a  dispute- 
resolution  body  with  a  well-earned  reputation  for  fairness  and 
impartiality.   The  Industrial  Relations  Court  is  also 
responsible  for  approving  all  collective  bargaining  agreements. 
The  Court  has  become  the  model  for  several  other  industrial 
courts  in  Africa. 

c.   Freedom  of  Religion 

Freedom  of  worship  is  protected  in  the  Constitution  and  for 
the  most  part  allowed  in  practice.   Foreign  missionaries  of 
many  denominations  are  permitted  to  work  in  Kenya.   In  November 
seven  Americans  were  deported  after  the  publication  of  a 


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memorandum  indicating  that  they,  in  collusion  with  the  Ku  Klux 
Klan,  were  plotting  the  overthrow  of  the  Kenyan  Government. 
The  missionaries  and  the  U.S.  Embassy  stated  that  the 
memorandum  was  a  forgery.   The  missionaries  were  deported  on 
short  notice  and  were  not  permitted  the  opportunity  to  refute 
the  allegation.   Nevertheless,  it  does  not  appear  that 
religious  intolerance  played  any  role  in  their  deportation. 

New  churches  must  receive  the  approval  of  the  Kenyan 
Government  to  be  registered  in  Kenya.   The  Church  of  Jesus 
Christ  of  Latter-Day  Saints  has  tried  without  success  for  6 
years  to  obtain  registration.   The  Government  has  not,  however, 
interfered  with  Mormon  meetings  during  this  period.   In 
November  the  Government  announced  without  explanation  that  five 
churches,  including  the  Association  of  Jehovah's  Witnesses  in 
East  Africa,  had  been  deregistered .   Several  of  the  churches 
have  appealed  the  action,  and  the  Jehovah's  Witnesses  in  late 
November  received  a  stay  order  from  the  High  Court. 

There  is  no  religious  requirement  for  voting  or  holding 
office.   Clergymen  in  Kenya  have  spoken  out  on  political  as 
well  as  religious  issues  from  their  pulpits.   In  1987 
government  leaders  criticized  some  members  of  the  clergy  for 
making  political  statements,  e.g.,  criticism  of  the  queuing 
system.   One  prominent  clergyman  was  transferred  by  hir  church 
from  Nairobi  to  a  rural  area  in  a  controversy  over  political 
sermons.   He  resigned  rather  than  accept  the  transfer.   In 
September  1987,  the  new  Chairman  of  the  National  Council  of 
Churches  of  Kenya  reaffirmed  the  duty  of  the  clergy  to  speak 
out  about  social  and  political  ills.   President  Moi  confirmed 
that  churches  have  a  duty  to  speak  out  on  social  ills. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

In  general,  Kenyans  can  travel  freely  both  within  Kenya  and 
abroad.   Travel  within  Kenya  is  restricted  only  by  provisions 
of  the  Preservation  of  Public  Security  Act,  which  limits 
movement  of  persons  considered  dangerous  to  the  public 
security.   These  provisions  are  rarely  invoked.   Although 
Kenya  does  not  prohibit  emigration  of  its  citizens,  the  Kenyan 
Government  impounded  the  passports  of  the  wife  and  children  of 
a  Kenyan  dissident  in  exile  in  1987.   In  contrast  to  1986, 
when  a  Kenyan  journalist  was  stripped  of  his  citizenship, 
there  were  no  instances  of  citizenship  being  revoked  for 
political  reasons  in  1987. 

Kenya  continues  to  accept  refugees,  despite  its  own  high 
population  growth  rate  and  severe  unemployment.   The  United 
Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  estimates  that  in  1987 
Kenya  provided  refuge  to  approximately  12,000  refugees,  and 
there  are  perhaps  another  5,000  displaced  persons  not 
officially  registered  as  refugees.   In  particular,  continued 
unrest  in  Uganda  has  prompted  several  thousand  Ugandans  to 
enter  Kenya.   Refugees  and  displaced  persons  have  not  been 
forced  to  return  to  their  country  of  origin. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

President  Moi  and  a  small  group  of  advisers  control  all  major 
policy  decisions  in  the  Government  and  the  party.   The  Kenyan 
Constitution  prohibits  formation  of  any  political  party  other 
than  KANU;  citizens  cannot,  therefore,  replace  the  party  in 
power  through  the  electoral  process.   Since  1964  (when  Kenya 


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converted  to  a  Presidential  system),  the  party's  candidate  for 
President  has  been  unopposed.   A  number  of  candidates  usually 
have  competed  for  party  and  national  assembly  elections. 
Local  party  branches  must  clear  all  candidates  for  political 
office.   In  the  past,  there  have  been  few  instances  when  local 
party  clearances  have  been  denied.   For  the  1988  party 
nomination  process,  the  party  leadership  has  adopted  a  queuing 
system  of  voting  whereby  party  members  are  to  queue  physically 
for  the  candidates  of  their  choice  on  election  day,  thus 
eliminating  the  secrecy  of  the  ballot  for  the  nomination. 
Under  the  new  party  rules,  no  more  than  3  KANU-selected 
candidates  will  be  permitted  to  run  in  each  constituency  in 
the  general  election.   Any  person  who  receives  70  percent  of 
the  vote  in  the  party  election  will  automatically  run  unopposed 
in  the  general  election,  which  is  by  secret  ballot.   Party 
leaders  have  stated  that  the  new  procedures  will  ensure  that 
candidates  in  the  general  election  represent  more  than  narrow 
ethnic  coalitions.   Concern  has  been  expressed  that  the  queuing 
method  is  a  means  for  the  party  leadership  to  tighten  control 
over  party  and  general  elections  and  that  the  70  percent  rule 
would  disenfranchise  voters  who  do  not  join  KANU.   Parliament 
has  not  debated  the  queuing  system,  and  the  President  has 
warned  Parliament  against  discussion  of  it. 

In  Kenya's  postindependence  history,  neither  the  President  nor 
the  Vice  President  has  faced  an  opposing  candidate.   Members 
of  all  ethnic  groups  are  permitted  to  run  for  office. 
President  Moi  has  broadened  ethnic  representation  at  the 
Minister  and  Assistant  Minister  level.   Persons  from  12 
different  ethnic  groups  hold  Cabinet  portfolios.   Seventeen 
ethnic  groups,  including  one  Caucasian,  are  represented  at  the 
Assistant  Minister  level.   Three  women  hold  seats  in  the 
National  Assembly,  and  more  than  20  women  were  elected  to 
municipal  offices  in  the  1983  elections. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  is  sensitive  to  criticism  regarding  alleged 
human  rights  violations  and  discourages  Kenyans  from  providing 
outside  human  rights  groups  with  information.   President  Moi 
has  publicly  attacked  Amnesty  International  and  other  groups 
for  meddling  in  Kenya's  internal  affairs.   Except  in  public 
statements  which  attacked  Amnesty  International's  veracity  and 
motives,  the  Government  has  not  replied  to  the  extensive 
Amnesty  International  survey  of  human  rights  in  Kenya, 
published  in  July  1987,  which  appealed  to  the  Government  to 
abandon  the  use  of  detention  without  charge,  to  institute 
safeguards  against  torture,  and  to  ensure  full  due  process  for 
all  those  tried. 

There  are  several  Kenyan  organizations  which  address  issues 
related  to  human  rights,  such  as  the  Law  Society  of  Kenya,  but 
none  which  focuses  exclusively  on  human  rights  concerns. 
Kenya  has  not  ratified  the  Organization  of  African  Unity's 
Human  and  Peoples'  Rights  Charter  adopted  at  that 
Organization's  1981  summit  in  Nairobi. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Kenya  is  a  diverse  country  that  does  not  practice  legal 
discrimination  on  the  basis  of  race,  sex,  religion,  language, 
or  social  status.   Women  remain  under  represented  in  educational 


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institutions,  government,  and  business,  despite  recent  gains 
and  the  emergence  of  influential  women  in  government  and  the 
professions.   Government  policy  is  less  of  a  factor  affecting 
women,  however,  than  the  traditional  culture  that  has  long 
prescribed  limited  roles  for  them.   Women  are  a  crucial  factor 
in  Kenyan  labor  and  provide  approximately  three-quarters  of 
agricultural  labor.   Women  are  likely  to  retain  this  role  for 
the  near  future,  as  there  is  a  continuing  migration  of  men  to 
cities  in  search  of  higher  paying  jobs.   In  the  modern  sector, 
women  frequently  earn  less  than  men  for  comparable  work.   The 
public  law  institute  has  sponsored  a  campaign  to  halt  violence 
against  women,  as  well  as  a  women's  rights  awareness  program 
which  put  up  signs  on  buses  announcing  "violence  against  women 
is  against  the  law."   There  are  also  women's  groups  in  Kenya 
which  attempt  to  educate  and  help  women  attain  their  rights. 
Some  Kenyan  ethnic  groups  still  practice  female  circumcision, 
although  the  Government  has  mounted  a  campaign  against  the 
practice  and  prohibits  such  operations  in  government  hospitals. 

Kenya's  Asian  community,  numbering  about  65,000,  accounts  for 
a  large  share  of  the  nation's  economic  output.   The 
Government's  policy  of  Africanization  of  the  economy  has 
resulted  in  some  Asian  emigration,  and  non-Africans  are 
concerned  about  the  long-term  implications  of  the  policy. 
Kenya  amended  its  Citizenship  Law  in  1984,  depriving  some 
Asians  and  Europeans  of  citizenship.   Under  the  present  law, 
people  born  in  Kenya  of  non-Kenyan  parents  can  no  longer  claim 
Kenyan  citizenship. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Kenya's  population  of  approximately  21  million  is  projected  to 
double  by  the  early  part  of  the  21st  century.   Urbanization 
continues  to  accelerate  rapidly,  although  approximately  80 
percent  of  Kenyans  continue  to  live  in  rural  areas--many  as 
subsistence  farmers.   The  legal  minimum  age  for  employment  is 
16,  but  the  law  is  difficult  to  enforce,  and  many  children 
work  at  an  earlier  age  as  unskilled  laborers  or  domestic 
employees  both  in  rural  areas  (especially  in  agriculture)  and 
in  urban  areas.   Kenya  has  adequate  legislation  to  provide 
acceptable  and  safe  working  conditions.   The  Government, 
however,  is  often  unable  to  enforce  compliance.   The  maximum 
legally  allowed  workweek  is  52  hours.   All  workers  are 
entitled  to  at  least  1  rest  day  per  week,  paid  sick  leave, 
paid  annual  leave,  and  holidays.   The  Government  has  enacted 
minimum  wage  legislation  based  on  occupation,  age,  and 
location.   Under  current  law,  the  minimum  wage  ranges  from 
about  $16  per  month  for  an  unskilled  laborer  under  age  18  in  a 
rural  area  to  about  $88  per  month  for  a  cashier  in  Nairobi  or 
Mombasa.   A  social  security  system  paying  retirement  benefits 
exists  in  nascent  form. 


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LESOTHO 


On  January  20,  1986  the  regime  of  Prime  Minister  Leabua 
Jonathan,  which  had  ruled  Lesotho  since  1966,  was  ousted  by 
the  Lesotho  Paramilitary  Force  (LPF) .   The  coup  leaders 
established  a  Military  Council,  abolished  the  post  of  prime 
minister,  and  formally  conferred  all  legislative  and  executive 
power  on  Moshoeshoe  II,  the  previously  powerless  King  of 
Lesotho.   Since  the  1986  coup,  the  Military  Council,  led  by 
Major  General  J.  M.  Lekhanya,  and  the  King  have  ruled  by 
decree;  however,  an  appointed  Council  of  Ministers,  which 
includes  civilians,  administers  the  day-to-day  operations  of 
government.   During  1987  the  new  regime  continued  its  ban  on 
"political  activity,"  giving  no  indication  when  Lesotho  might 
revert  to  constitutional  rule. 

Since  its  rise  to  power,  the  military  Government  has  promoted 
a  policy  of  national  reconciliation.   In  1987  it  again  called 
for  the  return  of  Basotho  nationals  who  had  exiled  themselves 
for  political  or  economic  reasons.   Ntsu  Mokhehle,  the  aging 
exiled  leader  of  the  Basotho  Congress  Party,  and  the  outlawed 
Lesotho  Liberation  Army  (LLA)  continued  to  reject  the 
Government's  general  amnesty.   The  Government  has  placed 
special  emphasis  on  pragmatic,  cooperative  relations  with 
South  Africa,  attempting  to  balance  geographic  and  economic 
realities  with  commitments  to  African  regional  cooperation. 

A  landlocked  country  completely  surrounded  by  South  Africa, 
Lesotho  is  almost  entirely  dependent  on  its  neighbor  for 
trade,  finance,  employment,  and  access  to  the  outside  world. 
About  half  of  the  male  labor  force  is  employed  in  South 
Africa's  mines,  and  remittances  from  workers  (more  than  $300 
million  annually)  are  a  critical  factor  in  the  economy, 
especially  in  financing  imports. 

Human  rights  continue  to  be  circumscribed  under  the  military 
Government,  but  its  goal  of  national  reconciliation  receives 
strong  popular  support.   In  this  reconciliation  effort,  the 
Government  did  not  bring  legal  actions  against  former  members 
of  the  Jonathan  Government  and  has  welcomed  back  some  500 
exiles,  mainly  from  South  Africa  and  Botswana.   (Jonathan  died 
in  1987  of  cancer  in  a  South  African  hospital.)   However,  the 
Government  reportedly  discharged  in  1987  a  number  of 
"politically  incompatible  individuals,"  both  in  the  military 
and  civil  services,  for  suspected  loyalty  to  the  previous 
Government.   While  the  climate  of  personal  security  improved 
in  1987,  the  1986  deaths  of  two  senior  military  officers  who 
had  opposed  the  coup,  and  two  former  ministers  and  their 
wives,  have  never  been  satisfactorily  explained  or 
investigated.   Also,  in  1987  there  were  several  unexplained 
but  clearly  politically  motivated  "warning"  attacks  (no 
casualties)  against  suspected  members  of  the  African  National 
Congress  and  the  Pan  African  Congress  still  residing  in 
Lesotho . 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  Killing 

The  brutal  1986  murders  of  former  Ministers  of  Information  and 
Foreign  Affairs,  Desmond  Sixishe  and  Vincent  Makhele  and  their 
wives,  still  have  not  been  resolved.   A  government 
investigation  has  failed  to  identify  the  perpetrators  of  the 


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LESOTHO 

crime,  and  there  has  been  a  lack,  of  official  disclosure  about 
it.   Similarly,  there  have  been  no  further  revelations 
concerning  the  deaths  in  March  1986  of  two  senior  Royal 
Lesotho  Defense  Force  officers  who  had  opposed  the  coup  and 
who  subsequently  died  while  in  official  custody  on  charges 
related  to  events  during  the  1986  coup. 

Amnesty  International,  in  its  1987  Report,  indicated  that  the 
two  former  ministers  and  their  wives  had  been  victims  of 
politically  motivated  killings,  alleged  to  have  been  carried 
out  by  government  agents,  and  that  the  deaths  of  the  two 
senior  military  officers  had  been  caused  by  ill-treatment. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  known  instances  of  disappearance  of  Basotho 
nationals.   Although  there  were  several  confirmed 
disappearances  of  South  African  refugees  in  1986,  none  were 
reported  during  1987. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  advent  of  the  new  military  Government  resulted  in  stricter 
discipline  over  police  forces,  and  accordingly  there  has  been 
a  decrease  in  the  number  of  allegations  of  improper  police  and 
military  conduct.   However,  isolated  beatings  and  harsh 
interrogations  of  criminal  suspects  are  still  reported  to 
occur . 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

In  August  1986,  the  military  Government  restricted  the 
movements  of  several  former  ministers,  including  former  Prime 
Minister  Jonathan,  to  their  home  areas,  allegedly  for  plotting 
to  overthrow  the  new  Government.   This  "home  area"  detention 
was  lifted  in  1987.   Jonathan  was  somewhat  belatedly  allowed 
to  leave  Lesotho  for  medical  treatment  in  April  1987;  he  died 
of  natural  causes  while  undergoing  treatment  in  South  Africa 
shortly  thereafter. 

Established  procedures  remain  in  effect  under  the  new 
Government  for  normal  civil  and  criminal  cases,  including  the 
right  of  a  detainee  to  an  early  determination  of  the  legality 
of  his  detention.   The  1981  Criminal  Procedures  and  Evidence 
Act,  as  amended  in  1984,  prohibits  bail  in  cases  of  armed 
robbery. 

In  political  cases,  the  Internal  Security  (General)  Act  of 
1984  applies.   This  Act  provides  for  preventive  detention 
without  charge  or  trial  for  up  to  42  days  (the  first  14  days 
on  order  of  the  police;  the  second  14  days  on  order  of  the 
police  commissioner;  and  the  final  14  days  only  on  order  of  a 
government  minister).   Detainees  may  be  held  incommunicado  for 
up  to  14  days.   During  the  second  stage  of  the  detention, 
ministerially  appointed  "advisors"  (all  government  employees 
to  date)  report  on  the  health  of  the  detainee,  investigate 
whether  the  detainee  has  been  involved  in  subversive 
activities,  and  advise  the  Minister  of  Justice  and  Prisons  on 
the  need  for  continued  detention.   Detainees  under  the  Act  may 
make  representations  on  their  own  treatment  only  through  the 
advisors.   The  1984  Internal  Security  Act  also  allows  for 
detention  of  witnesses  in  security  cases. 


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LESOTHO 

Observers  report  that  there  were  only  two  cases  of  preventive 
detention  under  the  Act  during  1987.   Both  detainees  sought 
redress  through  established  judicial  procedures  and 
subsequently  were  released. 

As  one  of  its  first  major  acts,  the  military  Government 
declared  a  general  amnesty  for  all  Basotho  in  exile,  which  was 
specifically  aimed  at  Ntsu  Mokhehle,  exiled  leader  of  the 
Basotho  Congress  Party  (BCP),  and  his  followers.   The 
Government  continues  to  maintain  that  they  are  free  to  return 
without  fear  of  retaliation  for  past  activities,  and  in  fact 
has  privately  urged  Mokhehle  to  do  so.   However,  Mokhehle 
rejected  the  Government's  offer  of  amnesty,  and  continued  to 
call  for  free  elections. 

In  spite  of  Mokhehle 's  attitude,  the  Government's  amnesty 
program  for  political  exiles  continued  to  receive  a  fair 
response  over  the  past  year;  returnees  since  the  coup  now 
number  over  500,  mostly  from  South  Africa  and  Botswana,  and 
they  have  generally  been  received  without  harassment  or 
political  retribution. 

There  is  no  forced  labor  practiced  in  Lesotho. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  judiciary  in  Lesotho  remains  independent  under  the 
military  Government.   The  courts  have  acted  to  limit 
infringements  of  law  and  procedure  on  numerous  occasions  in 
past  years,  as  in  the  case  of  two  1987  detentions.   Court 
decisions  and  rulings  are  respected  by  the  authorities. 
Accused  persons  have  the  right  to  counsel.   Under  the  system 
of  Roman-Dutch  law  applied  in  Lesotho,  there  is  no  trial  by 
jury.   The  judiciary  consists  of  a  Court  of  Appeal,  the  High 
Court,  magistrate  courts,  and  customary  or  traditional  courts 
which  exist  largely  in  rural  areas  to  administer  customary 
tribal  laws.   Members  of  the  High  Court  serve  in  an  advisory 
capacity  to  military  tribunals  and  provide  guidance  on 
questions  of  legal  procedure  and  substance.   This  service  is 
available  to  both  prosecutors  and  the  accused. 

The  military  regime  did  not  prosecute  Jonathan  or  other 
members  of  his  regime  for  political  or  other  crimes.   A  number 
of  soldiers  from  the  Lesotho  Paramilitary  Force  who,  in 
effect,  mutinied  against  the  force  command  structure  prior  to 
the  January  1986  coup  were  reportedly  put  on  trial.   However, 
no  judgment  in  their  case  has  yet  been  made  public.   As  noted 
in  Section  l.a.,  two  of  those  persons  died  while  in  custody, 
possibly  as  a  result  of  ill-treatment  by  government 
officials.   Court  martial  proceedings  were  reportedly 
instituted  against  several  other  military  personnel  in 
November  1986,  but  the  status  of  these  proceedings  had  not 
been  revealed  at  the  end  of  1987. 

The  new  Government  continued  programs  in  1987  to  increase 
familiarity  with  the  law  and  its  protection  of  individual 
rights  through  the  educational  system.   The  King's  "practical 
law  project,"  which  is  backed  by  the  Ministers  of  Law  and 
Education  as  well  as  by  the  judiciary,  has  begun  to  introduce 
a  basic  course  on  these  subjects  into  the  Lesotho  high  school 
curriculum. 


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LESOTHO 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

In  general,  these  rights  are  respected  in  Lesotho,  although 
under  the  Internal  Security  Act,  the  police  have  wide  powers 
to  stop  and  search  persons  and  vehicles  and  to  enter  homes  or 
other  places  for  a  similar  purpose  without  a  warrant.   There 
were  no  reports  of  forced  entry  by  authorities  into  private 
homes  in  Lesotho  in  1987.  < 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Human  Rights  Act  of  1983  provides  for  freedom  of 
expression  but  subordinates  this  freedom  to  the  protection  of 
national  security.   Following  the  January  1985  coup,  a  formal 
ban  on  politics  was  announced.   This  placed  stringent 
restrictions  on  freedom  of  speech  and  political  assembly.   In 
particular,  government  Edict  No.  4  prohibits  individuals  and 
groups  from  making  political  speeches  and  from  publishing  or 
distributing  political  party  materials.   In  spite  of  this  ban, 
however,  leaders  of  Lesotho's  five  principal  political  parties 
made  at  least  one  joint  public  statement  during  1987,  calling 
for  a  prompt  end  to  the  present  Government  and  an  immediate 
return  to  civilian  rule.   There  were  no  known  reprisals,  and 
the  statement  was  broadcast  on  the  government-run  national 
radio . 

Moreover,  opposition  viewpoints  are  routinely  expressed  in  two 
Sesotho-language  weekly  newspapers  published  by  the  Roman 
Catholic  Church  and  the  Lesotho  Evangelical  Church,  the  only 
privately  owned  newspapers  in  the  country.   The  Government 
controls  the  official  media  (one  radio  station  and  a  weekly 
newspaper)  but  rarely  uses  those  media  to  attack  its  critics. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association. 

The  military  Government's  ban  on  "politics"  has  not  been 
interpreted  to  require  the  dissolution  of  existing  political 
parties,  but  it  precludes  political  meetings  and  rallies. 
Nonpolitical  organizations  and  professional  groups  continue  to 
hold  regular  meetings.   Numerous  persons  meet  privately  to 
discuss  politics.   The  military  Government  made  no  attempt  in 
1987  to  inhibit  such  political  discussion. 

All  trade  unions  in  Lesotho  enjoy  the  right  to  organize, 
bargain  collectively,  and  strike.   The  1964  Trade  Union  and 
Trade  Disputes  Law  enumerates  lengthy  procedures  which  must  be 
followed  before  a  strike  is  called.   The  last  general  strike 
was  in  1961.   However,  there  were  wildcat  strikes  in  1987 
against  foreign  companies  linked  to  the  Lesotho  National 
Development  Corporation  over  minimum  wage  rates.   A  compromise 
offer  ended  the  work  action,  and  the  Government  raised  minimum 
wage  rates  in  August  1987.    Historically  trade  unionism  has 
played  a  relatively  minor  role  in  society,  largely  because  of 
the  small  size  of  the  manufacturing,  retail,  and  service 
sectors . 

Since  1984  the  Government  has  supported  the  formation  of  a 
single  new  umbrella  trade  union  confederation.   Subsequently, 
24  of  Lesotho's  28  independent  trade  unions  joined  the  Lesotho 
Congress  of  Free  Trade  Unions  (LCFTU) ,  which  held  its  first 
convention  in  May  1985  and  elected  the  existing  leadership  to 
a  3-year  term.   The  LCFTU  also  helped  redraft  Lesotho's  badly 


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LESOTHO 

outdated  labor  laws,  which  reportedly  were  still  under  review 
in  1987  by  the  Lesotho  Employers  Federation. 

The  military- Government  has  supported  non-LCFTU  unions  in  the 
formation  of  another  federation,  the  Lesotho  Federation  of 
Trade  Unions  (LFTU) .   In  1987  the  military  Government 
designated  the  LFTU,  the  much  smaller  rival  federation,  to 
represent  Lesotho  at  the  International  Labor  Organization 
(ILO)  annual  conference  in  Geneva.   The  Secretary  General  of 
the  LCFTU  challenged  the  credentials  of  the  LFTU  delegation  at 
the  Geneva  ILO  meeting,  and  on  his  return  to  Lesotho  the 
Government  confiscated  his  passport.   While  LCFTU  labor 
activities  have  not  been  curtailed,  the  Secretary  General's 
passport  has  not  been  returned,  and  he  is  unable  to  travel 
outside  of  the  country.   The  LCFTU  is  a  member  of  the 
democratically  oriented  International  Confederation  of  Free 
Trade  Unions  as  well  as  of  the  Organization  of  African  Trade 
Union  Unity. 

In  1987  Lesotho  hosted  meetings  of  the  Southern  African  Labor 
Commission  and  a  Southern  African  Development  Coordination 
Conference  ministerial  meeting  of  manpower  officials. 
Although  South  African  National  Union  of  Mineworkers  (NUM) 
officials  visit  Lesotho  regularly,  two  NUM  officials,  both 
Basotho  nationals,  were  briefly  detained  in  Lesotho  during  the 
South  African  miners'  strike,  allegedly  for  involvement  in 
"political  activities."   During  the  strike,  the  military 
Government  urged  Basotho  workers  not  to  engage  in  political 
activities  in  South  Africa. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

There  is  no  state  religion  in  Lesotho.   Free  and  open 
religious  practice  is  permitted.   Christianity  is  the  dominant 
faith  of  the  majority  of  Basotho,  with  the  principal 
denomination  being  Roman  Catholic.   There  is  a  significant 
Protestant  minority  as  well,  which  is  composed  of  the  Lesotho 
Evangelical  Church  (Presbyterian),  the  Anglican  Church,  and  a 
number  of  other  smaller  denominations.   Conversion  is 
permitted,  and  there  is  no  indication  that  there  is  any  social 
or  political  benefit  or  stigma  attached  to  belonging  to  any 
particular  church. 

Most  church  groups  support  the  military  Government's  call  for 
national  reconciliation  and  some  groups  have  been  outspoken  in 
1986  and  1987  in  asking  the  Government  to  redouble  its  efforts 
to  reintegrate  Ntsu  Mokhehle  and  his  exiled  LLA  into  the 
country's  political  life. 

In  1987  church  leaders  disagreed  with  government  policy  which 
allowed  South  African  mining  companies  to  recruit  Basotho 
replacements  for  striking  miners  during  the  South  African 
mineworkers  strike.   Clerical  leaders  issued  a  joint  public 
statement  exhorting  potential  recruits  not  to  join  this 
strikebreaking  effort.   Several  church  officials  reportedly 
were  questioned  and  watched  by  the  police  but  otherwise  were 
not  harassed. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation. 

Citizens  generally  are  allowed  to  move  freely  within  the 

country  and  across  national  boundaries,  although  the  Government 

does  not  hesitate  to  restrict  passports  in  political  cases, 
such  as  that  of  the  Secretary  General  of  the  LCFTU. 


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The  refugee  flow  into  Lesotho  from  South  Africa  has  continued 
at  a  slow  but  steady  pace,  currently  numbering  10  to  20 
refugees  per  month.   These  persons  have  been  accorded  fair 
treatment,  in  line  with  Lesotho's  international  obligations, 
and  have  been  given  expeditious  transit  to  third  countries  for 
resettlement . 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government. 

The  military  Government  which  assumed  power  in  January  1986 
announced  that  it  intends  to  remain  in  place  until  a  process 
of  national  reconciliation  has  been  completed.   No  time  frame 
for  this  process  has  been  announced,  nor  has  any  schedule  been 
set  for  return  to  civilian  rule,  elections,  or  constitutional 
revision.   Thus,  the  Basotho  people  currently  do  not  have  the 
freedom  to  replace  the  existing  regime,  nor  do  they  play  an 
active  role  in  the  governing  process. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

There  have  been  no  requests  for  investigation  of  human  rights 
abuses  since  the  present  Government  assumed  power,  and  hence 
its  attitudes  toward  outside  investigations  are  unknown.   In 
the  past,  the  Jonathan  Government  permitted  representatives  of 
Amnesty  International  to  visit  Lesotho  to  investigate  human 
rights  conditions  and  to  have  access  to  some  security 
detainees  who  complained  of  abusive  treatment.   In  1987 
Lesotho  completed  a  term  on  the  U.N.  Human  Rights  Commission. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Station. 

Most  citizens  of  the  Basotho  nation  speak  a  common  language 
and  share  a  common  historical  and  cultural  tradition. 
Nonindigenous  citizens  have  generally  married  in  the  Basotho 
ethnic  group,  which  tends  to  be  inclusive  and  assimilative  in 
character.   Expatriate  communities  are  small  and  not 
considered  to  be  a  major  factor  in  the  country's  political 
life.   Asians  (primarily  ethnic  Chinese  and  Indians)  and  white 
South  Africans  are  active  in  the  country's  commercial  sector 
and  are  less  favored  than  Basotho  nationals.   The  military 
Government  has  announced  a  policy  aimed  at  " indigenization"  of 
the  country's  retail  commercial  sector  and  has  called  upon 
expatriate  owners  to  transfer  their  businesses  to  Basotho 
nationals.   Apparently,  this  transfer  would  be  done  with 
compensation.   Exiles  from  South  Africa  have  from  time  to  time 
encountered  some  discrimination,  since  they  are  often  viewed 
as  magnets  for  real  or  imagined  South  African  political  or 
armed  intervention. 

In  the  areas  of  property  and  contracts,  married  women's  rights 
are  limited  by  law  and  custom.   For  example,  a  married  woman 
cannot  apply  for  a  loan  without  her  husband's  written 
consent.   Women  in  Lesotho  traditionally  have  been  the 
stabilizing  force  in  the  home  and  in  the  agricultural  sector, 
given  the  absence  of  over  100,000  Basotho  men  who  work  in 
South  Africa.   More  female  than  male  children  complete  primary 
and  secondary  schools.   Better  use  of  women's  talents  and 
abilities  will  depend  on  their  access  to  credit,  changes  in 
land  tenure  laws,  and  cultural  practices.   The  Government  has 


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not  yet  seriously  addressed  the  issue  of  women's  rights, 
although  there  are  a  number  of  self-help  projects  initiated  by 
Basotho  women  themselves. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Roughly  90  percent  of  the  labor  force  in  Lesotho  is  employed 
in  traditional  agriculture.   More  than  half  of  Lesotho's  male 
labor  force  work  in  the  Republic  of  South  Africa,  mainly  in 
gold  and  coal  mines.   Lesotho's  Employment  Act  of  1967  spells 
out  basic  workers'  rights,  including  a  45-hour  workweek,  a 
weekly  rest  period  of  at  least  24  hours,  11  to  12  days'  paid 
leave  per  year,  and  pay  for  public  holidays.   Employers  are 
required  to  provide  adequate  light,  ventilation,  and  sanitary 
facilities  for  employees  and  to  install  and  maintain  machinery 
to  minimize  the  risk  of  injury.   Children  under  14  years  of 
age  are  prohibited  from  employment  in  other  than  family 
businesses.   Children  under  16  are  not  allowed  to  work  in 
excess  of  8  hours  a  day,  and  employers  are  prohibited  from 
employing  any  child  in  hazardous  conditions.   The  Government 
sets  minimum  wages  for  various  types  of  work.   In  practice, 
these  regulations  are  generally  followed  only  within  the 
wage-scale  economy.   Enforcement  mechanisms,  however,  are 
limited. 

In  the  nation's  traditional  society,  life  and  working 
conditions  for  the  country's  young  "herdboys"  tend  to  be  much 
more  rigorous  and  demanding  than  conditions  in  the  modern 
sector.   Their  quasi-pastoral  life,  however,  is  considered  a 
prerequisite  to  eventual  manhood  and  is  a  fundamental  feature 
of  Sotho  life,  tradition,  and  culture. 


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The  Liberian  Constitution  provides  for  an  American-style 
democratic  system  of  government  and  guaranteed  rights  and 
freedoms  for  the  individual.   In  practice,  the  legacy  of  recent 
military  rule  and  the  Liberian  tradition  of  strong  executive 
authority  continue  to  prevent  fulfillment  of  that  ideal. 
Samuel  K.  Doe,  who  headed  the  Military  Government  which  ruled 
from  1980  until  the  establishment  of  the  Second  Republic  in 
January  1986,  became  President  after  elections  in  which  Doe's 
claim  of  a  narrow  victory  was  widely  believed  to  have  been 
fabricated.   He  and  his  ruling  party.  The  National  Democratic 
Party  of  Liberia  (NDPL) ,  dominate  Liberian  political  life. 
Three  opposition  parties  are  recognized  and  permitted  to 
function.   Of  these,  one  participates  in  electoral  politics, 
and  two  continue  their  boycott  of  the  Government  and 
legislature  to  protest  what  they  regard  as  a  fraudulent 
election. 

While  Liberia  is  now  ruled  by  a  civilian  government,  the  army 
continues  to  be  a  bulwark  of  the  current  administration. 
Liberia's  armed  forces  number  about  7,000  members  and  are 
engaged  mainly  in  guarding  border  crossings  and  fulfilling 
certain  internal  security  functions.   The  lack  of  military 
discipline,  especially  among  poorly  paid  enlisted  men, 
resulted  in  much  petty  harassment  of  civilians.   The  police 
force  is  small  and  poorly  trained. 

Liberia's  mixed  economy  is  based  primarily  on  iron  ore,  rubber, 
and  timber  and  has  been  in  decline  since  the  mid-1970's.   It 
continues  to  suffer  from  foreign  exchange  shortages,  widespread 
corruption,  low  export  prices,  a  crushing  debt  burden,  and 
governmental  mismanagement.   However,  in  1987  there  was  growing 
appreciation  of  the  need  for  fiscal  discipline,  manifested  by 
the  Government's  request  for  American  financial  experts  to 
help  improve  and  manage  government  finances. 

The  human  rights  situation  improved  in  1987,  but  serious 
problems  remain.   Seven  daily  newspapers  circulated  in 
Monrovia,  including  two  which  reappeared  after  being  closed  in 
1986.   Journalists  played  an  active  role  in  the  Government's 
anticorruption  campaign  and  also  reported  on  some  human  rights 
abuses.   Institutionally,  the  legislature,  though  dominated  by 
the  ruling  NDPL,  displayed  some  independence  from  the  executive 
branch  by  rejecting  three  presidential  nominees  to  the  Supreme 
Court  and  defeating  or  tabling  several  pieces  of  legislation 
supported  by  the  executive  branch.   An  extensive  network  of 
internal  checkpoints,  which  was  instituted  in  reaction  to  the 
1985  coup  attempt  and  fostered  intimidation  and  shakedowns  of 
civilians,  was  largely  dismantled  late  in  the  year.   Some 
persons  were  detained  without  charge  on  security  grounds,  but 
none  were  known  to  be  held  at  year's  end. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  general  weakness  of  the  administration 
of  justice  throughout  Liberia  continues  to  be  a  significant 
national  problem.   Most  judicial  and  police  officials  are 
poorly  trained  and  unaware  of  their  legal  obligations.   The 
level  of  awareness  of  constitutional  guarantees  is  low  among 
both  officials  and  the  population  at  large.   Arbitrary  arrests 
for  petty  offenses,  even  for  lack  of  "due  courtesy"  to  public 
officials,  and  general  harassment  by  military  personnel  occur 
frequently,  while  prolonged  detention  pending  trial,  or  even 
without  charge,  is  commonplace.   A  new  Chief  Justice,  who  had 
promised  widespread  reform,  was  impeached  by  the  legislature 
for  what  many  view  as  political  reasons  after  becoming 
involved  in  a  major  constitutional  dispute  with  the  President. 


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RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 


Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  political  killings  occurring  in  1987. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  disappearances. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

There  were  no  reports  of  officially  conducted  torture  in  1987. 
However,  brutality  by  police  and  other  security  officials 
during  the  arrest  and  questioning  of  individuals  is  fairly 
common,  and  there  have  been  no  evident  government  efforts  to 
halt  it.   In  November  three  Liberian  employees  of  the  U.S. 
Embassy  were  detained  following  a  traffic  incident  involving 
one  of  the  President's  vehicles.   Two  of  the  three  were 
released  after  being  held  5  days  without  charge  and  were 
examined  by  the  Embassy  doctor,  who  found  they  bore  evidence 
of  severe  beatings.   They  were  subsequently  redetained,  but  no 
charges  were  filed.   All  three  were  finally  released  in  January 
1988.   A  journalist  arrested  in  August  for  photographing 
security  officials  without  authorization  alleged  that  he  was 
beaten  at  the  time  of  his  apprehension.   In  May  a  student 
leader  claimed  that  he  was  abducted  and  beaten  by  plainclothes 
security  officers  for  several  hours  before  being  released. 

Prison  conditions,  which  have  been  bad  for  decades,  remained 
poor  in  1987.   Cells  are  often  small  and  without  windows  or 
ventilation.   Food,  exercise  opportunities,  and  sanitary 
facilities  are  inadequate.   The  maximum  security  prison  at 
Belle  Yella  is  notorious  for  its  harsh  regimen,  including  hard 
labor  and  the  impossibility  of  family  visits  to  prisoners  given 
its  remote  location.   The  cells  at  one  military  detention 
facility  in  Monrovia  are  said  by  former  inmates  to  be  3  feet 
high  with  a  dirt  floor.   Although  the  Constitution  states  that 
civilians  may  not  be  confined  in  any  military  facility,  this 
provision  is  frequently  ignored. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Although  police  must  have  a  warrant  for  arrests  and  persons 
must  be  charged  or  released  within  48  hours,  these 
constitutional  provisions  are  often  ignored  in  practice, 
particularly  in  cases  involving  alleged  security  threats  or 
violations.   A  woman  arrested  near  the  Ivorian  border  and 
accused  of  communicating  with  Liberian  dissidents  in  Cote 
d'lvoire  was  detained  for  several  months  in  a  military 
stockade  without  formal  charges  and  without  access  to  legal 
counsel.   The  journalist  mentioned  in  the  preceding  section 
was  held  in  a  military  cell  for  5  days  without  being  charged 
and  without  seeing  a  magistrate.   Seventeen  villagers  from 
Nimba  County  were  arrested  and  held  for  several  weeks  without 
formal  charges  after  being  accused  by  security  officials  of 
engaging  in  suspicious  nocturnal  dances  and  other  activities. 
Gabriel  Doe,  a  Liberian  businessman  with  ties  to  the 
opposition,  was  detained  without  charge  for  50  days, 
apparently  because  of  security  concerns  arising  out  of  an 
incident  involving  one  of  his  fishing  vessels. 


155 


Prolonged  detention  of  persons  without  charge  frequently 
occurs  as  a  result  of  administrative  and  judicial  neglect. 
Reports  surfaced  in  1987  that  at  least  15  young  people  rounded 
up  in  a  police  sweep  of  suspected  street  criminals  in  1984  are 
still  being  held  at  Belle  Yella  prison,  without  charges,  over 
3  years  later.   Details  of  the  case  are  unconfirmed;  however, 
it  is  generally  acknowledged  in  the  legal  community  that  many 
of  those  now  being  held  in  Liberian  prisons  have  been 
"forgotten"  by  the  judicial  system.   The  poor  condition  of  the 
prisons  makes  such  delay  of  justice  particularly  egregious. 
Two  prisoners  reportedly  died  in  custody  in  1987  after  waiting 
over  a  year  for  cases  to  be  brought  against  them. 

An  American  priest.  Father  James  Hickey,  resident  in  Liberia 
for  over  20  years,  was  detained  overnight  and  ordered  to  leave 
the  country  after  the  Government  declared  him  to  be  an 
"undesirable  alien,"  apparently  because  of  his  political 
views.   Although  the  section  of  the  immigration  law  cited  by 
the  Government  in  his  case  requires  a  conviction  before 
deportation.  Father  Hickey  was  neither  charged  with  a  crime 
nor  convicted.   Several  Lebanese  nationals,  accused  of  customs 
fraud  and  other  economic  crimes,  were  summarily  deported  in 
1987,  also  without  benefit  of  judicial  review. 

The  Constitution  prohibits  forced  labor,  and  the  practice  is 
firmly  condemned  by  the  Government.   However,  some  have 
alleged  that  authorities  in  rural  areas  force  local  citizens 
to  work  on  communal  farms. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Liberia's  civilian  court  system  is  based  on  Anglo-American 
jurisprudence  and  features  similar  judicial  bodies,  with  the 
Supreme  Court  at  the  apex.   The  Constitution  provides  for 
public  trials  and  states  that  there  shall  be  no  interference 
with  the  lawyer-client  relationship.   Nonetheless,  the  judicial 
system  is  often  subject  to  manipulation,  and  reports  of 
financial  or  political  pressure  on  the  courts  are  not  uncommon. 

Despite  constitutional  provisions  for  separation  of  powers, 
the  judiciary  has  a  history  of  succumbing  to  the  wishes  of  the 
executive.   In  June  President  Doe  requested  the  resignation  of 
the  entire  Supreme  Court,  saying  that  the  people  had  lost 
confidence  in  it.   All  five  justices  complied,  avoiding  a 
constitutional  confrontation  and  allowing  the  President  to 
reconstitute  the  bench. 

The  new  Chief  Justice,  Chea  Cheapoo,  accepted  a  presidential 
mandate  to  direct  wide-ranging  judicial  reform  and  began  a 
major  reorganization  of  the  courts  with  scant  regard  for 
constitutional  provisions  regarding  removal  of  judges. 
However,  his  efforts  came  to  an  abrupt  end  in  November  when  he 
was  impeached  by  the  legislature  following  a  dispute  with  the 
President  over  his  handling  of  what  he  described  as  an 
attempted  bribery  case.   Cheapoo  had  arrested  and  detained  two 
persons,  including  a  municipal  court  judge,  for  allegedly 
attempting  to  bribe  him.   The  Chief  Justice  facilitated  media 
coverage  of  the  arrest  and  repeated  allegations  of 
presidential  involvement  in  bribery.   The  following  day. 
President  Doe  overruled  Cheapoo,  ordered  the  two  released,  and 
asked  the  legislature  to  consider  whether  Cheapoo's  actions 
were  constitutional.   In  impeaching  Cheapoo,  the  legislature 
found  that  he  had  overstepped  his  constitutional  authority  by 
arresting  a  sitting  judge.   It  also  found  his  earlier 
dismissal  of  magistrates  and  other  court  officials  to  be 


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LIBERIA 

unconstitutional.   While  political  considerations  reportedly 
loomed  large  in  this  impeachment  action,  the  legal  issues 
involved  in  the  bribery  case  and  the  impeachment  proceeding 
were  not  clearcut.   The  incident  prompted  a  significant 
political  debate  over  the  separation  of  powers  and  the 
constitutional  prerogatives  of  both  the  executive  and  the 
judiciary. 

Persons  have  the  right  to  legal  counsel  and  to  bail  in 
noncapital  offenses.   Where  the  accused  is  unable  to  secure 
his  or  her  own  lawyer,  the  court  is  required  to  provide  legal 
services,  although  this  is  rarely  done  for  lack  of  resources. 

Traditional  courts,  presided  over  by  tribal  chiefs,  are  not 
bound  by  common  law  or  conventional  judicial  principles;  they 
apply  customary  and  unwritten  law  to  domestic  and  land  disputes 
as  well  as  petty  crimes.   These  decisions  may  be  reviewed  in 
the  statutory  court  system  or  appealed  to  a  hierarchy  of 
chiefs.   Administrative  review  by  the  Ministry  of  Internal 
Affairs  and,  in  some  cases,  a  final  review  by  the  President 
may  follow.   Allegations  of  corruption  and  incompetence  in  the 
traditional  courts  are  common.   Local  officials  closed  tribal 
courts  on  the  Firestone  plantation  in  July  claiming  that  the 
traditional  judges  were  abusing  their  authority. 

There  were  no  known  political  prisoners  held  in  Liberian 
prisons  during  1987.   However,  several  individuals  have  been 
detained  for  various  periods  (up  to  2  months  in  one  instance) 
pending  "security  investigations."   None  of  the  individuals 
involved  was  a  political  activist. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Military  indiscipline  remains  a  serious  problem,  reflecting  a 
general  lack  of  professionalism  among  poorly  paid  enlisted 
men.   This  surfaces  in  random  shakedowns  of  civilians  and 
arbitrary  interrogations  which,  in  some  instances,  have 
resulted  in  violence.   In  two  separate  incidents  in  July, 
members  of  the  Special  Anti terror ist  Unit  (SATU)  shot  and 
killed  civilians,  one  after  an  apparently  unsuccessful 
shakedown  attempt  and  the  other  following  a  traffic 
disagreement.   The  soldiers  involved  were  discharged  and 
turned  over  to  civilian  authorities  for  prosecution. 

Interference  in  the  lives  of  ordinary  citizens  occurs  on  a 
wider  scale  in  rural  areas,  where  local  officials  wield 
considerable  power  over  the  day-to-day  activities  of  people 
and  where  proper  police  and  judicial  procedures  are  less 
likely  to  be  followed.   During  the  year,  soldiers  investigating 
alleged  security  threats  in  Nimba  and  Grand  Cape  Mount  Counties 
reportedly  harassed  and  threatened  villagers,  injuring  some 
and  causing  others  to  flee  into  the  bush.   Legislators  and 
other  officials  from  Nimba  County,  the  home  of  the  leader  of 
the  unsuccessful  1985  coup  attempt,  publicly  complained  that 
soldiers  and  other  security  officials  singled  out  citizens  of 
the  county  for  harassment.   President  Doe  responded  to  these 
concerns  by  meeting  with  tribal  leaders  from  the  county  in 
October  and  visiting  the  county  in  late  November.   Following 
his  visit,  he  announced  the  closure  of  a  substantial  number  of 
internal  check  points  throughout  the  country,  including  many 
in  Nimba  County. 


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Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Liberian  press  is  lively,  and,  despite  some  degree  of 
self-censorship,  opposition  viewpoints  are  presented,  even  on 
government  radio  and  television.   All  media  refrain  from 
direct  attacks  on  the  President  and  certain  other  government 
officials.   Seven  daily  newspapers  are  currently  published  in 
Monrovia,  one  of  which  is  government  controlled,  and  each  of 
the  four  political  parties  began  publication  of  party 
newsletters  during  1987.   Two  daily  newspapers,  not  published 
since  mid-1986  because  of  government  pressure,  resumed 
publication  in  1987  with  President  Doe's  approval.   Their 
return  to  print  encouraged  the  press  to  become  markedly  bolder 
in  its  investigations  and  editorials.   When  President  Doe 
encouraged  the  press  to  investigate  allegations  of  corruption 
in  government,  the  newspapers  began  to  publicize  official 
corruption  at  a  number  of  government  agencies.   One  newspaper's 
revelations  led  to  the  dismissal  of  the  Foreign  Minister  and 
two  other  officials  for  alleged  involvement  in  a  government 
scandal . 

On  at  least  two  occasions,  government  officials  reacted 
harshly  to  newspaper  articles  critical  of  the  Government.   In 
February  police  officials  summoned  reporters  from  one  newspaper 
to  police  headquarters  following  publication  of  an  article 
alleging  police  brutality  and  reportedly  demanded  that  the 
paper  also  print  their  version  of  the  incident.   In  October  the 
Supreme  Court  cited  three  journalists  for  contempt  of  court  for 
publishing  reports  which  challenged  the  Chief  Justice  to 
substantiate  his  public  allegation  that  some  journalists  are 
corrupt.   The  case  was  apparently  dropped  following  the 
impeachment  of  the  Chief  Justice. 

The  Government  reinstituted  mandatory  official  accreditation 
of  journalists  in  1987  and  issued  credentials  to  nearly  400 
print  and  broadcast  journalists.   Although  there  is  no 
evidence  that  any  application  or  request  was  denied,  the  Press 
Union  of  Liberia  objected  to  the  new  procedure  as  a  form  of 
"prior  restraint." 

The  Constitution  includes  provisions  for  freedom  of  expression, 
including  freedom  of  speech  and  of  the  press,  but  also 
stipulates  that  persons  be  held  "fully  responsible  for  the 
abuse"  of  this  right.   Decree  88a,  passed  by  the  military 
Government  in  1984,  declares  the  spread  of  "rumors,  lies,  and 
disinformation"  a  felony.   Although  this  decree  is  widely 
believed  to  be  unconstitutional,  it  has  not  been  revoked  or 
challenged  in  the  courts  and  is  therefore  technically  still  in 
force.   Government  authorities  have  not  invoked  the  decree  in 
the  past  3  years,  and  no  individual  has  ever  been  convicted  of 
a  violation  of  it.   Nonetheless,  journalists  and  others  view 
the  decree  as  an  undue  restriction  on  freedom  of  speech  and 
the  press  and  continue  to  call  for  its  abolition. 

Although  no  foreign  publications  are  officially  banned,  the 
Government  still  prevents  circulation  of  the  magazine  West 
Africa,  which  frequently  publishes  articles  critical  of  the 
Liberian  Government. 

The  government-controlled  Liberian  Broadcasting  System  runs 
the  only  television  station  in  Liberia  and  two  radio  stations 
which  give  priority  to  government  news.   The  Government's 
rural  communication  network  offers  a  combination  of 


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entertainment  and  development  information  to  otherwise 
isolated  areas.   Two  religiously  affiliated,  politically- 
independent  radio  stations  are  in  operation  and  report 
critically  on  local  events,  though  their  news  programs  are 
subject  to  some  government  scrutiny. 

b.   Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  constitutional  right  to  peaceful  assembly  and  association 
is  observed  more  often  in  urban  areas  than  in  rural  areas.   In 
1987  opposition  groups  conducted  meetings  and  other 
organizational  activities  in  the  Monrovia  area  without 
interference  from  the  Government.   In  some  cases,  meetings 
were  allowed  to  be  held  in  government  facilities.   However, 
government  authorities  in  the  countryside  often  prohibit 
opposition  groups  from  holding  meetings  within  their 
jurisdictions.   Margibi  County  officials  blocked  several 
attempts  by  one  opposition  party  to  hold  political  meetings  in 
the  county  in  1987.   When  opposition  meetings  do  take  place 
outside  Monrovia,  participants  frequently  are  harassed.   In 
May  soldiers  in  Grand  Bassa  County  arrested  and  detained 
several  members  of  an  opposition  political  party  who  were 
conducting  a  membership  drive.   A  county  official  claimed  that 
the  persons  concerned,  who  were  teachers,  were  barred  by  the 
Constitution  from  participation  in  "active  politics."   (In 
fact,  the  Constitution  does  not  enjoin  members  of  any 
particular  profession  from  political  activity.) 

Opposition  groups  did  not  attempt  to  organize  any  significant 
public  demonstrations  in  1987,  fearing  that  the  Government 
would  react  harshly  if  they  did.   A  1986  Supreme  Court  ruling 
barred  joint  rallies  and  meetings  of  the  collective 
opposition;  however,  leaders  of  the  various  opposition 
groupings  meet  on  an  informal  basis  without  government 
interference . 

The  ruling  NDPL  party  maintains  a  task  force,  composed  of 
several  hundred  young  men,  mostly  unemployed,  which  opposition 
parties  claim  exists  for  the  sole  purpose  of  harassing  and 
intimidating  political  opponents.   After  a  number  of  violent 
confrontations  with  opposition  members  over  the  past  few  years, 
the  NDPL  task  force  maintained  a  lower  profile  in  1987.  In 
January  a  number  of  task  force  leaders  were  detained  on 
misdemeanor  writs  issued  by  the  Ministry  of  Justice  after  they 
had  threatened  senior  NDPL  officials  in  an  intraparty  dispute. 
In  July  the  United  Peoples  Party  announced  the  formation  of 
its  own  task  force  in  reaction  to  perceived  threats  from  the 
NDPL  task  force.   Thus  far,  there  have  been  no  direct 
confrontations  between  the  two  groups.   Although  there  is  no 
formal  policy  within  the  Government  requiring  membership  in 
the  ruling  NDPL,  government  employees  are  sometimes  pressured 
to  join  the  party.   Most  senior  civil  servants  are  members  of 
the  NDPL. 

Although  Decree  2a,  which  bans  student  political  activity  on 
campuses,  is  technically  still  in  effect,  students  participated 
in  political  activities  during  1987.   In  August  the  Liberian 
National  Student  Union  (LINSU)  ,  wliich  has  been  harshly  critical 
of  the  Government,  held  its  first  National  Congress  in  8  years. 
Student  unions  at  the  University  of  Liberia  and  Cuttington 
University  also  held  elections  without  incident. 

Nonetheless,  there  were  at  least  two  attempts  to  restrict  the 
activities  of  student  organizations  and  their  leaders.   In 
March,  after  considerable  debate,  the  legislature  rejected  a 


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Government-sponsored  bill  which  would  have  banned  LINSU.   In 
July  the  acting  President  of  LINSU  and  a  prominent  young 
member  of  an  opposition  party  were  dismissed  from  their 
positions  as  teaching  assistants  at  the  University  of  Liberia. 
The  university  administration  claimed  the  move  was  unrelated 
to  the  political  activities  of  the  two,  but  no  other  university 
employees  were  dismissed  at  the  time. 

Workers  have  the  right  to  form  unions,  organize,  and  bargain 
collectively.   Liberia  has  a  national  trade  union  federation, 
the  Liberian  Federation  of  Labor  Unions  (LFLU) ,  which  is  an 
affiliate  of  the  International  Confederation  of  Free  Trade 
Unions,  and  several  independent  unions.   Union  organizing, 
collective  bargaining,  and  the  internal  operations  of  trade 
unions  are  largely  free  from  government  interference.   PRC 
Decree  12  outlawing  strikes  and  "any  other  type  of  labor 
unrest"  is  still  on  the  books,  but  brief  strikes  have  occurred 
despite  this  ban.   The  new  labor  code,  which  would  supersede 
Decree  12  by  permitting  strikes  under  certain  circumstances, 
has  languished  in  the  legislature  since  early  1986. 

The  Government  does  not  recognize  the  right  of  civil  servants 
or  employees  of  parastatals  (public  corporations)  to  unionize 
or  to  strike.   In  March  the  legislature  enforced  this 
prohibition  by  invalidating  the  charter  of  the  National 
Teachers  Union.   (The  organization  continues  to  function,  but 
as  an  "association"  rather  than  a  union.)   In  August  a 
Government-sponsored  Civil  Service  Reform  Bill  was  introduced 
in  the  legislature  which  would  codify  these  restrictions  on 
government  employees  and  also  enjoin  them  from  membership  in 
political  parties.   The  LFLU,  the  independent  unions,  and  the 
opposition  political  parties  voiced  strong  opposition  to  the 
measure,  however,  and  the  legislature  adjourned  without  taking 
action  on  the  bill.   In  1985  the  International  Labor 
Organization  (ILO)  noted  that  the  Liberian  Government's 
restrictions  on  government  employees  are  in  violation  of  ILO 
Convention  87  regarding  freedom  of  association. 

c.   Freedom  of  Religion 

The  Constitution  states  that  freedom  of  religion  is  a 
fundamental  right  of  all  Liberian  citizens.   No  religion  has 
preference  over  any  other,  and  there  is  no  established  state 
religion.   Christianity,  brought  by  19th-century  settlers  and 
spread  through  the  interior  by  missionaries,  has  long  been  the 
religion  of  the  political  and  economic  elite.   The  majority  of 
the  rural  population  continues  to  practice  traditional 
religions.   Approximately  25  percent  of  the  population  is 
Muslim.   The  Liberian  Council  of  Churches,  an  organization 
comprising  most  of  the  Christian  denominations  in  Liberia, 
occasionally  plays  a  prominent  role  in  national  affairs. 
Early  in  1987,  a  Bong  County  court  indicted  over  300  members 
of  the  Poro,  a  traditional  secret  society  based  in  rural 
areas,  for  criminal  offenses  related  to  attacks  on  Christian 
missions.   Poro  members  alleged  that  Christian  clergy  were 
divulging  Poro  secrets  in  their  quest  to  win  converts. 
Charges  against  the  indicted  Poro  members  apparently  were 
dropped  after  the  two  sides  agreed,  with  the  help  of 
government  mediation,  not  to  interfere  in  each  other's 
activities . 


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d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

The  Constitution  provides  every  person  the  right  to  move 
freely  throughout  Liberia  and  to  leave  or  enter  Liberia  at  any 
time.   Although  domestic  movement  was  impeded  by  the  extensive 
network  of  internal  checkpoints  instituted  in  reaction  to  the 
1985  coup  attempt,  the  majority  of  these  checkpoints  were 
dismantled  late  in  the  year.   Police  and  military  personnel  at 
these  checkpoints  routinely  searched  vehicles  and  solicited 
bribes  from  passengers. 

While  restrictions  on  the  foreign  travel  of  former  political 
prisoners  were  lifted  early  in  1987,  passport  issuance  was 
sometimes  delayed,  apparently  for  political  reasons.   Exit 
visas  are  required  for  all  Liberians  leaving  the  country. 
Though  these  were  routinely  granted  in  1987,  persons  wishing 
to  leave  must  first  submit  proof  that  they  have  paid  taxes  and 
uti lity  bi lis . 

Refugees  are  not  forced  to  return  to  the  countries  from  which 
they  have  fled.   In  a  few  cases,  however,  the  Government  has 
sought  to  deport  refugees  who  became  involved  in  political 
affairs.   In  1986  the  Government  arrested  a  South  African 
refugee  for  participating  in  a  political  demonstration, 
claiming  that  by  doing  so  he  violated  the  conditions  of  his 
asylum  in  Liberia.   The  refugee  was  still  being  held  in 
custody  without  charges  at  the  end  of  1987  pending  government 
arrangements  to  deport  him  to  another  country. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Despite  constitutional  provisions  and  universal  suffrage,  it 
has  not  conclusively  been  shown  that  citizens  are  free  in 
practice  to  change  their  government  democratically.   The 
President  and  his  ruling  party,  the  NDPL,  still  have  much  more 
power  than  other  branches  of  government  and  other  political 
parties.   Many  officials  from  the  former  military  regime, 
which  was  headed  by  President  Doe,  still  hold  positions  of 
authority  in  the  current  Government,  and  the  military,  in 
general,  still  wields  substantial  influence  in  political 
affairs . 

The  legislature  became  increasingly  assertive  in  1987, 
rejecting  three  presidential  nominees  for  the  Supreme  Court 
and  defeating  or  deferring  several  pieces  of  legislation 
supported  by  the  executive  branch.   Nonetheless,  the  President 
can  still  count  on  legislative  support  on  issues  of  prime 
importance  to  him.   For  example,  after  controversial  remarks 
by  the  Chairman  of  the  United  Peoples  Party  (UPP)  in  August, 
President  Doe  convoked  a  special  session  of  the  legislature 
and  reportedly  demanded  that  the  party  be  banned.   No  action 
was  taken  ultimately,  but  the  heavy  official  condemnation  of 
the  UPP  leader  served  to  chill  the  political  atmosphere.   On 
another  issue,  the  Cheapoo  impeachment,  the  Senate  was 
unanimous  in  its  impeachment  conviction,  despite  the  fact  that 
the  general  public  was  clearly  divided  on  the  issue.   In  each 
of  these  incidents,  widespread  dislike  for  the  target  of  the 
President's  ire  helped  him  win  legislative  support.   Opposition 
parties  continue  to  boycott  the  legislature;  however,  a  group 
of  legislators,  elected  in  1985  on  opposition  tickets  but 
taking  seats  as  independents,  has  formed  a  caucus  and 
functions  as  an  informal  opposition  party. 


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The  Constitution  prohibits  the  creation  of  a  one-party  state, 
ensures  free  and  fair  elections  by  secret  ballot,  and  provides 
for  an  Elections  Commission  to  monitor  all  political  activities 
in  the  country.   The  elections  law  empowers  the  Commission  to 
certify  parties,  conduct  all  elections,  and  count  election 
ballots.   The  five  Commission  members  are  appointed  by  the 
executive  for  life  and  currently  are  all  ex-NDPL  members. 
Citing  the  widespread  fraud  that  occurred  during  the  1985 
elections,  the  opposition  has  called  for  an  independent 
vote-counting  mechanism. 

Three  opposition  political  parties  are  officially  recognized 
by  the  Elections  Commission--the  United  Peoples  Party,  the 
Liberian  Action  Party,  and  the  Unity  Party.   A  fourth  party, 
the  Liberian  Unification  Party  (LUP) ,  had  its  charter  revoked 
for  failure  to  comply  with  financial  requirements  for 
registration . 

In  June  1987,  nonpartisan  elections  for  traditional  tribal 
chiefs  were  held  by  secret  ballot.   The  Elections  Commission 
encountered  great  difficulty  in  educating  the  largely 
illiterate  rural  population  in  election  procedures.   Reports 
of  vote-tampering  and  other  irregularities  also  marred  the 
elections.   A  group  of  47  unsuccessful  candidates,  from  a 
total  of  over  1,400  contenders,  petitioned  the  Supreme  Court 
to  invalidate  the  announced  results.   The  issue  dissipated 
following  an  appeal  to  the  chiefs  from  President  Doe  to  accept 
the  election  results. 

The  opposition  UPP  joined  the  NDPL  in  contesting  byelections 
for  two  legislative  seats  in  December.   Turnout  for  the 
elections,  which  were  won  by  the  NDPL,  was  very  low. 
Controversy  arose  once  more  over  vote  counting  procedures, 
although  the  UPP  did  not  formally  challenge  the  outcome. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

No  international  organizations  are  known  to  have  sought  the 
Liberian  Government's  cooperation  in  1987  to  investigate  any 
alleged  human  rights  violations.   The  Government  permitted 
representatives  from  several  groups,  including  Amnesty 
International  and  the  Lawyers  Committee  for  Human  Rights,  to 
observe  controversial  treason  trials  held  in  1986.   The 
Government  received  an  official  from  the  International 
Committee  of  the  Red  Cross  (ICRC)  in  May  and  routinely  permits 
representatives  of  the  local  Red  Cross  to  visit  prison 
facilities  in  the  Monrovia  area.   The  isolated  maximum  security 
prison  at  Belle  Yella  is  generally  considered  off-limits  to 
outside  inspection,  though  a  group  of  reporters  was  permitted 
to  visit  the  facility  in  1986. 

The  National  Alliance  for  Peace  and  Human  Rights,  a  nonpartisan 
human  rights  organization  formed  by  Liberians  in  1986,  lapsed 
into  inactivity  in  1987,  in  large  part  because  of 
organizational  problems.   While  the  Government  never  granted 
the  group  official  recognition,  there  was  no  attempt  to 
prevent  it  from  meeting. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  Constitution  states  that  "only  persons  who  are  Negroes  or 
of  Negro  descent"  shall  qualify  by  birth  or  naturalization  to 


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be  citizens  of  Liberia.   The  Constitution  further  states  that 
only  Liberian  citizens  can  own  real  property.   These  provisions 
discriminate  against  many  nonblack  residents  who  were  born  in 
Liberia  and  consider  it  their  home.   Otherwise,  there  is  no 
officially  sanctioned  discrimination  on  the  basis  of  race, 
sex,  religion,  language,  or  social  status.   However,  members 
of  President  Doe's  Krahn  ethnic  group  hold  a  disproportionate 
number  of  high  posts  in  the  Government  and  military  and  are 
widely  believed  to  be  given  preference  in  competing  for 
lower-level  jobs. 

The  status  of  women  varies  by  region.   In  urban  areas  and 
along  the  coast,  women  can  inherit  land  and  property.   In 
rural  areas,  where  traditional  ties  are  stronger,  a  woman  is 
normally  considered  the  property  of  her  husband  and  his  clan 
and  is  not  usually  entitled  to  inherit  from  her  husband.   In 
newly  urban  areas,  many  women  are  subject  to  both  customary 
and  statutory  legal  systems.   Female  circumcision  is  widely 
practiced  by  those  Liberians  following  traditional  religions. 
Women  in  Liberia  currently  hold  posts  in  the  Cabinet,  the 
legislature,  the  judiciary,  and  professions  throughout  the 
modern  economy,  but  remain  underrepresented  in  most  jobs  in 
the  wage  economy. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Liberia's  labor  laws  provide  for  minimum  wages  and  set  health 
and  safety  standards.   The  minimum  wage  of  an  agricultural 
worker,  for  example,  is  $2.00  per  day.   The  workweek  is 
normally  40  hours.   Inspection  is  not  rigorous,  however. 
Employers  are  prohibited  from  employing  children  under  16 
years  of  age  during  school  hours.   This  is  a  difficult  statute 
to  enforce,  since  many  children  are  engaged  in  subsistence 
farming  and  only  a  minority  ever  attend  school.   Any  employee 
can  file  a  grievance  with  a  labor  inspector. 


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Madagascar  is  governed  by  a  president  and  a  parliament  (the 
National  Popular  Assembly),  both  elected  by  direct  universal 
suffrage,  which  together  choose  the  Supreme  Revolutionary 
Council.   President  Didier  Ratsiraka  has  broad  constitutional 
powers,  and  his  position  is  further  strengthened  by  the 
influential  role  played  by  his  political  party,  AREMA,  which 
holds  an  overwhelming  majority  in  the  National  Popular 
Assembly.   Elections  are  actively  contested  within  the 
controlled  political  framework  sanctioned  by  the  Government. 
This  framework  permits  political  activity  only  by  the  seven 
parties  making  up  the  National  Front  for  the  Defense  of  the 
Revolution.   The  political  orientation  of  the  seven  parties 
ranges  from  moderate  and  pro-Western  to  pro-Soviet.   The 
President  chairs  the  Supreme  Revolutionary  Council,  composed 
of  political  and  regional  leaders  and  representatives  of  the 
military  forces.   The  Council  approves  basic  policy  and 
guidelines,  convenes  and  adjourns  the  National  Popular 
Assembly,  and  passes  laws  when  the  Assembly  is  not  sitting. 

The  Malagasy  internal  security  forces  are  composed  of  the 
urban  police  force  and  the  National  Gendarmerie,  the  latter 
has  jurisdiction  in  the  provinces.   On  occasion,  the  National 
People's  Army  has  also  been  used  for  internal  security 
purposes . 

In  1987  continuing  vigorous  debate  in  the  Assembly  over  the 
recurrent  stagnation  of  the  economy  and  conseguent  unrest  led 
four  of  the  parties  within  the  National  Front  to  form  an 
opposition  alliance.   This  alliance,  in  an  unprecedented  move, 
voted  against  the  national  budget  in  the  1986  session,  lending 
further  credence  that  a  genuine  opposition  in  Malagasy 
politics  may  be  evolving. 

The  Malagasy  Constitution  adopted  in  1975  made  "socialism"  the 
State's  political  philosophy.   This  led  to  the  nationalization 
of  a  major  portion  of  the  economy.   The  private  sector  was 
reduced  to  a  secondary,  albeit  still  important,  role.   The 
economy  subsequently  deteriorated  as  production  declined, 
foreign  debt  rose,  and  unemployment  grew,  especially  among  the 
youth  (60  percent  of  the  population  is  under  age  25).   In 
recent  years,  however,  the  Government  has  taken  steps  toward 
liberalizing  the  economy.   Reform  measures  in  the  production 
and  marketing  of  rice  have,  for  example,  begun  to  show 
positive  results. 

Although  fundamental  liberties  and  individual  rights  are 
guaranteed  by  the  Constitution,  several  of  these  rights,  such 
as  freedom  of  the  press  and  freedom  of  assembly,  are 
restricted  in  practice  or  are  subject  to  exclusionary  clauses 
in  most  laws.   Rights  such  as  the  inviolability  of  the  home 
and  due  process  may  also  be  disregarded  in  cases  involving 
state  security. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  Killing 

While  there  were  recurring  rumors  of  politically  motivated 
killings,  there  has  been  no  conclusive  evidence  to 
substantiate  such  rumors.   For  instance,  in  May  1986,  the 
Minister  of  Defense,  his  Secretary  General,  and  the  Director 


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MADAGASCAR 

of  OMNIS  (the  Military  Office  of  Strategic  Industries)  were 
killed  in  a  plane  crash  along  with  eight  other  people.   While 
there  is  no  evidence  that  the  plane  was  sabotaged,  the 
Government  launched  an  official  inquiry  into  the  matter,  the 
findings  of  which  have  yet  to  be  published.   Amnesty 
International  in  its  1986  Report  (covering  1985)  called  on  the 
authorities  to  investigate  the  death  of  Father  Sergio  Sorgone, 
a  Roman  Catholic  priest,  who  may  have  been  killed  for  political 
reasons  by  members  of  the  TTS,  a  paramilitary  youth  group  which 
supports  the  Government,  as  well  as  the  deaths  of  four  other 
priests  who  may  have  been  victims  of  political  killings.   More 
recently,  the  near  fatal  stabbing  in  September  of  a  senior 
opposition  party  official  and  member  of  the  Supreme 
Revolutionary  Council,  Dr.  Radio  Celestin,  has  once  again 
stirred  rumors  of  political  crime. 

In  1987  there  was  no  further  violence  involving  members  of  the 
TTS  and  the  "kung-fu"  movement.   Following  street  fighting  in 
1984,  the  victorious  kung-fu  groups  began  to  play  a  vigilante 
role  in  Antananarivo's  poorer  districts  and  thus  represented  a 
threat  to  the  State.   The  ensuing  clashes  in  August  1985 
between  the  military  and  the  kung-fu  adherents  resulted  in, 
according  to  the  official  count,  20  dead,  31  wounded,  and  208 
arrested.   In  their  suppression  of  the  kung-fu  threat,  the 
military  entered  some  homes  without  court  orders  and  ransacked 
them,  shot  some  suspects  on  sight,  and  arrested  others  without 
formal  charges. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  confirmed  cases  of  politically  motivated 
disappearance  in  1987. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

While  there  were  no  documented  cases  of  physical  torture 
occurring  in  Madagascar,  some  organizations  in  the  security 
apparatus,  notably  the  state  secret  police,  have  a  reputation 
for  ruthless  methods.   The  kung-fu  prisoners  have  allegedly 
suffered  from  very  cruel  treatment  while  in  detention.   There 
have  also  been  credible  reports  of  the  alleged  use  of  torture 
by  the  armed  forces  in  the  Government's  campaign  against 
outlaw  bandits  in  Madagascar's  southwest. 

Malagasy  prisons  are  increasingly  inhumane  in  terms  of  living 
conditions.   Some  prisoners  are  not  fed  regularly,  medical 
care  is  not  provided,  infections  are  commonplace,  prisoners 
rarely  have  the  opportunity  to  wash,  and  clothing  is  not 
provided.   The  death  toll  rises  significantly  among  prisoners 
during  the  cold  winter  months. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Persons  suspected  of  activity  against  the  State  may  be  legally 
detained  incommunicado  for  15  days,  subject  to  indefinite 
extension  if  considered  necessary  by  the  Government. 
Indefinite  extension  is  frequently  deemed  necessary.   In  the 
past,  certain  defendants  involved  in  security  cases  were 
detained  without  being  brought  to  trial  for  periods  ranging 
from  20  months  to  over  5  years.   Such  extended  periods  of 
pretrial  detention  are  exceptions  and  are  usually  limited  to 
cases  involving  national  security. 


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In  a  normal  criminal  case,  the  accused  must  be  charged  or 
released  within  3  days  of  arrest.   Defendants  in  ordinary 
criminal/civil  cases  are  generally  charged  formally  within  the 
specified  time  frame,  and  upon  being  charged,  are  permitted 
legal  counsel.   Counsel  is  readily  available,  and  court- 
appointed  counsel  is  provided  for  indigents. 

Thirty-seven  of  the  kung-fu  adherents,  including  one  woman, 
have  been  imprisoned  without  trial  since  August  1985  at 
Arivonimamo  prison.   At  the  end  of  1987,  no  trial  had  been 
scheduled,  and  they  had  not  been  charged.   In  its  1987  Report 
(covering  1986),  Amnesty  International  expressed  concern  about 
these  detentions,  and  stated  that  some  may  be  "prisoners  of 
conscience. " 

Forced  labor  is  not  practiced  in  Madagascar. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  Malagasy  Constitution  provides  for  an  independent 
judiciary.   In  practice,  the  judiciary  seems  to  function 
without  outside  influence  from  the  executive. 

The  judiciary  has  three  levels  of  trial  courts:   lower  courts 
for  civil  and  criminal  cases  in  which  limited  sentences  may  be 
levied,  a  Court  of  Appeals  which  includes  a  Criminal  Court  for 
cases  in  which  sentences  of  5  years  or  more  may  be  imposed, 
and  a  Supreme  Court.   The  judiciary  also  has  a  number  of 
special  courts  designed  to  handle  specific  kinds  of  cases 
under  the  jurisdiction  of  the  higher  courts.   A  High 
Constitutional  Court,  with  a  totally  separate  and  autonomous 
status,  watches  over  the  constitutionality  of  laws,  decrees, 
and  ordinances  and  ensures  the  legality  of  elections.   A  High 
Court  of  Justice,  charged  with  prosecuting  malfeasance  in  the 
Government,  is  provided  for  in  the  Constitution  but  has  never 
come  into  existence.   A  Military  Court  has  jurisdiction  over 
all  cases  involving  national  security.   The  trial  for  the 
kung-fu  adherents  could  take  place  in  either  the  Military 
Court  or  the  Criminal  Court  of  the  Court  of  Appeals. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  State  does  not  generally  intervene  in  nonpolitical  aspects 
of  the  lives  of  the  people.   The  home  is  inviolable  under 
Malagasy  law,  and  intrusions  into  an  individual's  residence, 
except  in  political  or  sensitive  cases,  must  be  made  under  the 
authority  of  a  search  warrant.   However,  in  their  suppression 
of  kung-fu  gangs,  the  military  entered  some  homes  without 
court  orders  and  ransacked  them. 

Although  government  economic  policies  limit  the  choices, 
Malagasy  citizens  may  make  their  own  decisions,  without 
government  coercion  or  interference,  in  such  matters  as 
changing  jobs  or  residence,  marriage,  having  children,  and 
joining  permitted  political  parties  or  social  organizations. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Private  citizens  have  limited  freedom  to  criticize  government 
officials  and  policies  without  fear  of  arrest  by  the  local 
authorities,  but  such  criticism  must  be  carefully  worded. 


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MADAGASCAR 

Direct  criticism  of  the  President  or  the  "Socialist 
revolution"  is  not  tolerated. 

Madagascar  has  one  of  the  highest  literacy  rates  in  Africa, 
and  Malagasy  citizens  attach  great  importance  to  the  press. 
What  is  printed  in  the  newspaper  often  has  an  impact  on  the 
nation's  policymaking  apparatus.   Critical  examination  of  a 
range  of  policy  issues  such  as  economic  management, 
transportation,  and  education  can  be  found  in  the  printed 
press.   However,  censorship  is  prescribed  by  the  Government 
and  executed  by  the  Ministry  of  Interior.   Copies  of  the  daily 
newspapers  are  submitted  to  the  censors  prior  to  printing. 
When  censorship  is  enforced,  the  newspaper  leaves  blank  those 
columns  where  the  offending  articles  would  have  appeared.   In 
instances  of  violations  of  censorship,  the  Ministry  has  and 
occasionally  uses  its  administrative  authority  to  suspend 
publication.   There  is  one  government-owned  newspaper.   The 
two  major  independently  owned  newspapers  are  Madagascar  Matin 
and  Midi  Madagasikara .   Several  other  dailies  and  weeklies  are 
published  by  party  groups  and  independent  publishers,  including 
the  outspoken  and  candid  Catholic  newspaper,  Lakroa. 

The  Government  owns  the  radio  and  television  stations. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  rights  of  assembly  and  association  are  restricted. 
Permits  are  required  to  hold  public  meetings  and  can  be  denied 
by  the  Government  if  officials  believe  that  the  meeting  poses 
a  threat  to  the  State  or  endangers  national  unity.   Persons 
and  groups  belonging  to  parties  of  the  National  Front  are 
permitted  to  organize  and  assemble.   Nevertheless,  since 
political  activity  by  groups  outside  the  National  Front  is 
prohibited,  dissenting  political  opinion  is  limited. 

The  first  half  of  1987  witnessed  a  resurgence  of  major  student 
unrest  in  the  form  of  massive,  violent  demonstrations  and 
student  strikes  sparked  by  student  opposition  to  educational 
reform  measures  announced  by  the  Government  in  late  1986. 

Although  the  right  to  organize  labor  unions  is  recognized, 
unions  are  not  important  either  politically  or  economically. 
The  labor  force,  about  4.9  million  workers,  is  mostly  agrarian 
(85  percent).   Union  labor  accounts  for  less  than  5  percent  of 
the  total.   Unions  are  permitted  to  strike  and  conduct  wage 
negotiations,  but  because  of  the  depressed  economy,  strikes 
have  been  few,  and  trade  unions  relatively  quiescent.   Most 
unions  are  affiliated  with  National  Front  parties. 

Madagascar  is  an  active  member  of  the  Madagascar  delegation  to 
the  International  Labor  Organization  (ILO)  and  was  a 
participant  in  discussions  regarding  the  rights  of  seamen  to 
organize  trade  unions  at  the  74th  annual  meeting  of  the  ILO  in 
September  1987.   Unions  are  affiliated  with  regional  and 
international  labor  bodies  such  as  the  International 
Confederation  of  Free  Trade  Unions  and  World  Federation  of 
Trade  Unions. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

The  Government  is  secular,  and  there  is  no  official  religion. 
There  is  no  discrimination  on  the  basis  of  religious 
affiliation,  and  persons  are  free  to  follow  the  faith  of  their 
choice.   Missionaries  and  clergy  are  generally  permitted  to 
operate  freely,  and  the  Government  has  so  far  made  no  effort 


167 


MADAGASCAR 

to  restrain  those  Christian  churches  which  have  become  more 
active  in  criticizing  government  policies.   Over  half  of  the 
population  is  either  Catholic  or  Protestant,  with  the  remainder 
following  traditional  Malagasy  religious  beliefs  or  other 
faiths  . 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

The  Government  has  imposed  no  restriction  on  travel  within  the 
country.   Official  approval  must  be  obtained  for  trips  outside 
the  country,  but  there  has  been  only  one  known  instance  in 
which  approval  was  denied  due  to  the  person's  political 
views.   Foreign  travel  is  impeded  by  the  difficulty  in 
obtaining  foreign  currency.   The  Malagasy  franc  is  not 
convertible  abroad,  and  the  Government  limits  the  amount  of 
hard  currency  that  can  be  obtained  for  foreign  travel.   There 
is  no  refugee  population  in  Madagascar. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  electorate's  choice  is  constrained  by  the  nature  of  the 
political  system,  since  the  only  political  parties  allowed  to 
operate  in  Madagascar  are  those  which  are  members  of  the 
National  Front.   However,  there  exists  a  range  of  ideological 
and  policy  views  among  the  seven  Front  parties,  and  there  are 
viewpoints  within  this  spectrum  which  are  at  odds  with  the 
policies  of  the  administration.   Thus,  the  electoral  process 
provides  the  voters  a  chance  to  choose  among  candidates 
expressing  differing  views  in  local  and  regional  elections,  as 
well  as  in  the  Assembly  and  presidential  campaigns.   The  137 
members  of  the  National  Popular  Assembly  are  elected  by 
universal  suffrage  for  5-year  terms.   The  last  election  was  in 
1983.   (The  Supreme  Revolutionary  Council,  in  October, 
extended  the  terms  of  Assembly  deputies  by  9  months,  according 
to  official  reports,  for  economic  reasons.)   The  President  is 
elected  to  a  7-year  term  with  the  next  election  falling  due  in 
1989.   The  electoral  process,  although  not  completely  free 
from  irregularities,  has  been  essentially  straightforward  in 
recent  elections.   The  political  system  in  Madagascar  also 
reflects  a  considerable  degree  of  regional  balance. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  has  not  cooperated  with  groups  wishing  to 
investigate  alleged  human  rights  violations  and  has  denied 
visas  to  Amnesty  International  representatives.   When  the 
President's  opponent  in  the  1982  election  campaign  called  for 
supervision  of  the  elections  by  Amnesty  International,  the 
President  rejected  the  proposal  as  being  derogatory  to 
national  sovereignty.   In  the  absence  of  private  human  rights 
groups,  the  Christian  churches  in  the  country  have  taken  the 
lead  in  advocating  human  rights.   Although  the  Government  is 
sensitive  to  criticism  emanating  from  this  guarter,  it  has  not 
officially  responded  to  guestions  or  criticisms  from  the 
churches  or  any  other  group. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

While  there  appears  to  be  no  customary  practice  of 
institutional  or  systematic  discrimination  on  the  basis  of 


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MADAGASCAR 

ethnic  grouping  in  Madagascar,  a  serious  outbreak  of  violence 
and  plunder  of  Indian-owned  property  across  Madagascar 
occurred  in  March.   This  prosperous  community  estimated  at 
some  18,000  persons  of  Indian  origin,  referred  to  locally  as 
"karana,"  is  essentially  engaged  in  commerce.   The  "karana" 
are  generally  considered  by  the  Malagasy  as  not  prone  to 
integration  due  to  a  variety  of  religious  and  cultural 
reasons.   While  no  Indians  were  killed  in  these  riots,  several 
looters  were  killed,  many  wounded,  and  property  damage  was 
great.   The  looting  reportedly  began  when  allegations 
circulated  that  Indian  retailers  were  involved  in  rice 
speculation  and  illegal  transactions  in  scarce  items  such  as 
cooking  oil  and  sugar.   The  simultaneous  outbreak  of  these 
riots  in  cities  across  the  island  and  limited  damage  outside 
the  Indian  community  have  fueled  rumors  that  these  incidents 
were  carefully  coordinated  and  organized.   The  Chinese  and 
French  communities  also  have  experienced  some  resentment  from 
the  Malagasy  mainly  because  of  their  success  in  commerce. 
These  groups  have  occasionally  been  the  target  of  local 
government  policies  favoring  Malagasy  nationals. 

Madagascar  has  what  is  essentially  a  matriarchal  society.   A 
highly  visible  role  for  women  has  long  been  recognized  as  an 
integral  part  of  the  country's  sociological  framework.   Women 
have  a  lengthy  tradition  of  involvement  in  high-level 
political  activity,  and  currently  women  are  members  of  the 
Cabinet,  the  Supreme  Revolutionary  Council,  and  the  Assembly. 
Women  are  also  active  and  play  major  roles  in  the  various 
political  parties.   Women  have  a  prominent  role  in  the 
business  and  economic  life  of  the  country,  with  many  of  them 
managing  or  owning  business  concerns  or  filling  management 
positions  in  state  industries.   Education  at  all  levels  is 
open  to  women.   However,  women  in  rural  areas  and  among  the 
poor  face  a  greater  degree  of  hardship.   In  addition  to  the 
responsibilities  associated  with  child  rearing  and  household 
management,  economic  necessity  forces  these  women  to  engage  in 
farm  labor  or  other  similar  activities.   These  conditions  stem 
more  from  socioeconomic  factors  than  from  a  discrim.inatory 
bias  against  women  in  Malagasy  society. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

The  Malagasy  Work  Code  and  its  enforcing  legislation  set  forth 
the  working  conditions  required  for  employees.   The  Work  Code 
describes  a  child  as  any  person,  regardless  of  gender,  under 
the  age  of  18.   The  minimum  age  for  employment  is  14,  but  the 
use  of  child  labor  is  prohibited  in  those  areas  where  there  is 
apparent  and  imminent  danger.   There  is  a  44-hour  workweek  in 
nonagricultural  and  service  industries.   There  are  also 
provisions  for  holiday  pay,  sick  and  maternity  leave,  and 
insurance.   Malagasy  law  distinguishes  between  agricultural 
and  nonagricultural  work.   The  average  minimum  wage  is  about 
15  cents  per  hour.   The  Work  Code  has  rules  concerning 
building  safety,  machinery  and  moving  engines,  operational 
safety,  and  sanitation  standards.   It  appears  that  in 
practice,  the  rules  and  regulations  of  the  Code  are  adhered  to 
by  employers  and  are  enforced  by  the  authorities.   Labor 
inspectors  carry  out  regular  visits  to  industrial  work  sites. 
Violations  of  safety,  sanitary,  operational,  and  other  work 
code  provisions  are  the  subject  of  reports  by  these 
inspectors.   If  the  violations  are  not  remedied  within  a 
specified  time  frame,  the  violators  are  legally  charged  and 
subject  to  various  penalties. 


169 


MALAWI 


The  President  of  Malawi,  Dr.  H.  Kamuzu  Banda,  has  maintained 
nearly  undisputed  control  over  political  life  and  government 
since  he  led  the  country  to  its  independence  in  1964.   He  was 
proclaimed  "Life  President"  in  1970.   Political  activity  is 
limited  to  participation  in  the  sole  legal  party,  the  Malawi 
Congress  Party.   Malawi  inherited  a  parliamentary  form  of 
government  from  Great  Britain.   Parliamentary  elections,  which 
are  required  at  least  every  5  years,  were  held  in  1987. 
Almost  all  constituencies  were  contested,  although  only 
candidates  selected  by  the  party  and  approved  by  the  President 
were  allowed  to  run.   Nearly  half  of  the  incumbents  were  not 
reelected.   Constitutional  amendments  and  laws  passed  by  the 
Parliament  reflect  decisions  already  taken  by  the  President. 

Military,  police,  and  party  security  organs  suppress  opposition 
to  the  Government  and  monitor  a  wide  range  of  activities.   The 
small  Malawian  military  establishment  (6,000  men)  faced  a  major 
new  problem  in  1987:   providing  military  protection  to  permit 
the  reopening  and  operation  of  the  Nacala  railroad  line  in 
Mozambique,  pursuant  to  a  December  1986  accord. 

Malawi  is  a  small,  densely  populated,  landlocked  country  whose 
principal  assets  are  moderately  fertile  soils,  good  water 
resources,  and  a  climate  favorable  to  crop  production.   It  has 
a  primarily  market-oriented  economy.   Since  1981  the  Government 
has  been  pursuing  a  structural  adjustment  program,  with  the 
assistance  of  the  International  Monetary  Fund  and  the  World 
Bank.   It  has  made  substantial  progress  in  agricultural 
development  and  has  been  moving  to  reduce  subsidies  and  divest 
itself  of  parastatals  (public  corporations).   Despite  this 
progress,  annual  per  capita  gross  national  product  in  1985 
measured  only  $210  per  year.   Malawi's  population  of  7.2 
million  people  is  growing  at  an  estimated  annual  rate  of  3.1 
percent.   Possessing  no  significant  mineral  resources  or 
industrial  sector,  Malawi  is  heavily  dependent  on  agriculture 
for  export  earnings  and  employment. 

In  1987  human  rights  continued  to  be  widely  circumscribed. 
Two  cases  again  received  international  attention  from  human 
rights  groups,  as  appeals  and  inquiries  were  made  on  behalf  of 
a  former  opposition  leader,  Orton  Chirwa,  and  his  wife.  Vera 
Chirwa,  both  serving  life  sentences  for  alleged  treason 
(commuted  from  death  sentences  in  1984).   In  September  the 
Government  arrested  a  well-known  professor  and  poet  and 
continued  to  detain  him  without  charge  at  the  end  of  1987. 

Over  the  past  year,  Malawi  became  host  to  one  of  the  largest 
refugee  populations  in  Africa.   Since  mid-1986,  when  it  had 
almost  no  refugees,  Malawi  has  experienced  a  massive  influx  of 
Mozambicans  fleeing  anarchic  conditions,  famine,  and  fighting 
between  Mozambican  government  forces  and  insurgents.   By  the 
end  of  1987,  there  were  approximately  400,000  refugees  in 
Malawi.   In  some  areas  their  numbers  were  equal  to  the 
Malawian  population.   The  Government  has  accepted  these 
refugees  and,  with  the  help  of  international  humanitarian 
organizations,  worked  to  provide  adequate  relief  assistance. 


170 


MALAWI 


RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 


Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  allegations  of  politically  motivated  killings 
during  1987. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  known  political  disappearances  in  1987. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Beatings  by  the  police  at  the  time  of  detention  or  arrest,  or 
during  interrogation,  are  illegal  but  do  occur.   In  its  1987 
Report,  Amnesty  International  stated  that  severe  beatings  of 
political  detainees  and  criminal  suspects  were  reported  to  be 
common.   It  also  noted  that  the  organization  investigated  in 
1986  two  reported  deaths  of  detainees  due  to  torture. 

Prison  terms  of  hard  labor  are  the  norm  for  common  criminals. 
Prison  conditions  are  generally  believed  to  be  poor  but  are 
difficult  to  verify  since  access  to  prisons  is  tightly 
controlled.   According  to  one  report,  some  criminals  were  sent 
to  remote  prisons  where  insufficient  food  was  provided. 
Several  are  believed  to  have  died  of  malnutrition. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Under  the  Preservation  of  Public  Security  Act,  the  President 
may  order  the  arrest,  search,  and  detention  of  any  person  the 
Government  suspects  may  "undermine"  the  authority  of  the 
Government.   A  person  arrested  under  this  law  can  be  detained 
indefinitely  by  the  police  without  trial.   The  Act  also 
authorizes  certain  officials  to  detain  individuals  for  25  days. 

Whether  or  not  under  the  Public  Security  Act,  Malawi  residents 
may  be  picked  up  at  the  whim  of  the  authorities,  held  without 
charge  for  varying  and  indeterminate  lengths  of  time,  and 
released.   Persons  may  be  detained  for  "political"  offenses 
against  the  party  or  government.   Suspicion  of  corruption  also 
is  a  frequent  cause  for  arrest.   Those  detained  are  rarely 
charged  officially  or  brought  before  courts.   It  is  impossible 
to  estimate  the  number  of  arbitrary  detentions  and  arrests 
made  in  Malawi  in  1987.   Persons  charged  with  crimes  are 
usually  held  in  custody  while  awaiting  trial,  and  delays  of  3 
years  or  longer  before  a  case  is  heard  are  common. 

In  one  such  case,  Aleke  Banda,  a  former  high-ranking  member  of 
the  Government  and  party,  has  been  detained  for  over  7  years 
although  charges  against  him  have  not  been  made  public.   Jack 
Mapanje,  the  head  of  the  English  Department  at  Chancellor 
College,  was  arrested  by  police  on  September  25.   The  reasons 
for  his  detention  have  not  been  made  public,  but  it  may  be 
related  to  his  poetry,  some  of  which  was  doubtless  seen  as 
critical  of  the  Government. 

Forced  labor  is  sometimes  used  as  a  form  of  criminal  punishment 
but  is  not  otherwise  practiced. 


171 

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MALAWI 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Malawi  has  both  a  traditional  court  system,  which  deals  with 
most  criminal  cases  against  Africans,  including  most  capital 
offenses,  and  a  modern  court  system  which  generally  handles 
civil  cases  and  criminal  cases  against  Europeans  and  Asians. 
Those  charged  under  the  Military  Code  of  Justice  are  tried  in 
military  courts.   Lawyers  are  not  permitted  to  assist 
defendants  in  traditional  court  cases,  but  legal  counsel  is 
permitted  in  the  modern  court  system.   The  right  of  appeal 
exists  in  both  the  modern  and  traditional  court  systems.   Most 
political  cases  are  tried  in  the  traditional  court  system,  as 
in  the  case  of  Orton  and  Vera  Chirwa,  who  were  sentenced  to 
death  in  1983  by  the  Southern  Regional  Traditional  Court,  but 
subsequently  had  their  sentences  commuted  to  life  imprisonment. 

In  practice,  the  Government  and  party  exert  little  control  in 
cases  tried  in  the  modern  court  system  consisting  of  the  High 
Court  and  Magistrate  Courts.   The  President  appoints  the  Chief 
Justice  of  the  High  Court  who,  in  turn,  appoints  other  modern 
court  justices.   Magistrates  may  be  removed  from  their 
positions  for  incompetence,  malfeasance,  or  in  the  public 
interest  as  determined  by  the  executive  branch.   This  lack  of 
job  security  acts  as  a  form  of  government  pressure.   These 
courts  are  open  to  the  public,  and  defendants  are  charged 
publicly. 

The  three  traditional  courts  at  the  regional  level  deal  with 
most  capital  offenses.   Police  officials  handle  the 
prosecution,  and  defendants  handle  their  own  defense.   There 
is  no  presumption  of  innocence,  and  common  law  rules  of 
evidence  do  not  apply.   Traditional  court  justices  are 
appointed  directly  by  the  President.   Of  the  five  members  of 
each  regional  traditional  court,  three  are  chiefs  generally 
without  formal  legal  training,  one  is  a  trained  lawyer  who 
advises  the  court,  and  the  fifth,  the  chairman,  has  had  a 
course  in  law.   Traditional  court  proceedings  and  the  records 
of  those  proceedings  are  not  open  to  the  public,  although 
summaries  of  some  cases  have  occasionally  been  published  in 
the  newspapers.   It  is  generally  believed  that  there  is  little 
executive  interference  in  traditional  court  cases  dealing  in 
matters  of  customary  law.   A  guilty  verdict  is  reviewed  by  the 
National  Traditional  Court,  and  a  ministerial  committee 
considers  clemency. 

The  Forfeiture  Act  permits  the  Government  to  revoke  the 
property  rights  of  those  suspected  of  economic  crimes.   These 
revocations  sometimes  have  political  overtones.   When  the 
Forfeiture  Act  is  invoked,  the  person  loses  all  worldly 
possessions,  including  business  and  financial  and  personal 
assets.   Revocation  of  property  rights  is  carried  out  by 
executive  fiat  with  no  judicial  review.   Notice  of  forfeiture 
must  be  published  in  the  official  gazette.   In  1987,  for  the 
first  time  in  several  years,  the  Forfeiture  Act  was  invoked. 
About  26  forfeiture  actions  were  undertaken  against  individuals 
and  businesses,  apparently  because  they  were  suspected  of 
involvement  in  illegal  foreign  exchange  transactions. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Police  enter  houses  of  suspects  at  will  under  special  entry 
authority  to  conduct  searches  for  people  or  incriminating 
evidence.   The  authorities  monitor  correspondence  and  often 
open  domestic  and  international  mail. 


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Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Criticism  of  the  Government  and  its  policies  is  not  allowed, 
even  by  the  Parliament.   The  Public  Security  Regulations  make 
it  an  offense  to  publish  anything  likely  "to  undermine  the 
authority  of,  or  public  confidence  in  the  Government." 
Although  the  Life  President  is  in  his  late  80's,  discussion  of 
Malawi's  political  future  after  his  death  also  is  not 
permitted.   In  a  speech  in  September,  the  President  himself 
addressed  the  issue,  saying  he  would  not  name  a  successor. 
His  remarks  were  widely  reported,  but  it  was  clear  that  their 
intent  was  to  limit  speculation  rather  than  encourage  public 
debate. 

The  media  do  not  submit  their  news  items  and  programs  to  the 
Government  in  advance  for  approval  or  censorship,  but  informal, 
strict  self-censorship  "guidelines"  are  understood  by  the 
media.   The  penalty  for  publishing  material  which  meets  with 
official  displeasure  can  be  severe.   Journalists  have  been 
jailed  for  extended  periods  for  overstepping  these 
"guidelines."   The  two  newspapers  and  sole  government-owned 
radio  station  have,  however,  exhibited  increasing  candor  in 
coverage  of  international  issues.   In  addition,  criticism  of 
the  efficiency  of  some  government  departments  has  appeared  in 
the  media  and  Parliament. 

Limited  freedom  of  inquiry  into  the  natural  and  social 
sciences  exists  at  the  university  and  may  include  some 
examination  of  radical  political  ideologies,  provided  this 
does  not  extend  to  explicit  criticism  of  the  Government.   The 
arrest  and  detention  of  Professor  Mapanje  raised  new  concerns 
in  the  academic  and  intellectual  community. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

No  political  meetings  are  permitted,  other  than  those  of  the 
Congress  Party.   Individuals  may  be  imprisoned  if  they  further 
the  aims  of  an  "unlawful  society,"  that  is,  any  group 
considered  to  be  "dangerous  to  the  good  government  of  the 
Republic."   In  the  nonpolitical  sphere,  individuals  and 
organizations  generally  are  free  to  meet  and  associate. 
Professional,  fraternal,  and  service  organizations  exist  and 
are  encouraged  by  the  Government. 

In  the  small  wage  sector,  labor  unions  exist,  but  their 
activities  are  highly  circumscribed,  and  they  are  generally 
ineffective  in  achieving  gains  for  workers.   The  principal 
explanation  is  as  much  economic  as  political:   the  economy  of 
Malawi  can  sustain  only  a  small  number  of  wage  earners,  most 
of  whom  occupy  positions  as  unskilled  laborers  on  large  estate 
farms . 

Collective  bargaining  theoretically  is  allowed,  but  its  use  is 
limited.   The  Government  intervenes  to  influence  wages  and 
working  conditions.   Malawi  law  guarantees  the  right  to 
strike,  but  in  practice  strikes  do  not  occur.   Labor  unions 
come  under  the  umbrella  organization,  the  Malawi  Trade  Union 
Congress  (MTUC) .   With  government  supervision,  the  MTUC 
associates  with  international  organizations  and  is  a  member  of 
the  Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity  and  of  the 
International  Confederation  of  Free  Trade  Unions. 


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MALAWI 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

There  is  no  state  or  preferred  religion,  but  religious  groups 
are  required  to  register  with  the  Government.   Except  for 
Jehovah's  Witnesses,  religious  groups  may  establish  places  of 
worship  and  train  clergy.   Their  publications,  like  all  others, 
must  not  criticize  the  Government  or  the  party.   They  are  free 
to  establish  and  maintain  links  with  coreligionists  in  other 
countries,  and  members  are  free  to  travel  abroad.   Similarly, 
missionaries  from  abroad  are  permitted  to  enter  Malawi  and 
proselytize.   There  is  no  tie  between  a  particular  religion 
and  the  Malawi  Congress  Party. 

Jehovah's  Witnesses,  whose  religious  convictions  prevent  them 
from  joining  party  groupings,  have  been  banned  since  1967. 
The  Government  considers  the  sect's  activities  to  be 
disruptive  of  "the  prevailing  calm,  law,  and  order."   There  is 
no  evidence  that  Jehovah's  Witnesses  have  been  active  in 
Malawi  in  recent  years,  except  for  a  group  of  several  hundred 
Mozambican  refugees.   The  Government  has  treated  this  group  in 
a  nondiscriminatory  manner. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

There  are  few  restrictions,  in  practice,  on  movement  within 
Malawi,  though  legal  provisions  exist  for  restricting  the 
movement  of  those  convicted  of  political  or  criminal 
offenses.   Asian  residents  and  citizens  are  free  to  travel 
within  the  country  but  must  reside  and  work  in  one  of  four 
urban  areas  (Lilongwe,  Zomba,  Mzuzu,  and  Blantyre/Limbe) . 
Denial  of  passports  on  political  grounds  frequently  extends  to 
family  members  of  persons  in  political  disfavor  and  to  those 
persons  the  Government  suspects  may  criticize  it  if  allowed  to 
travel  abroad.   Civil  servants  and  employees  of  state-owned 
enterprises  must  obtain  written  permission  to  travel  abroad, 
even  on  vacation.   Obtaining  such  clearance  can  take  from  a 
few  days  to  several  months.   Formal  emigration  is  neither 
restricted  nor  encouraged.   With  the  exception  of  a  small 
group  of  political  dissidents,  there  is  no  outward  flow  of 
Malawian  refugees  from  the  country.   Citizenship  may  be 
revoked  but  in  practice  this  is  not  done. 

Malawi  has  acted  in  a  responsible  and  responsive  manner  to  the 
large  influx  of  Mozambicans  it  hosts.   The  refugees,  located 
in  heavily  populated  areas  with  little  available  land,  have 
placed  a  great  strain  on  the  economy  and  on  the  transportation 
and  social  services  networks.   The  Government  has  devoted  many 
of  its  own  scarce  resources  to  assisting  the  refugees  and  has 
permitted  international  and  private  voluntary  organizations  to 
operate  relief  efforts.   These  efforts  are  coordinated  by  a 
committee  chaired  by  the  Ministry  of  Health.   The  United 
Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  (UNHCR)  was  allowed  to 
open  an  office,  and  Malawi  has  also  acceded  to  the  Geneva 
Convention  Relating  to  the  Status  of  Refugees.   The  U.N.  and 
other  international  assistance  groups  are  able  to  travel 
freely  to  assess  relief  needs  and  to  investigate  allegations 
of  protection  problems.   There  were  no  substantiated  reports 
of  Mozambicans  being  forcibly  repatriated  from  Malawi  in  1987. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  of  Malawi  do  not,  in  practice,  have  the  ability  to 
change  their  government.   All  political  decisions  are  made 


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MALAWI 

either  directly  by  the  President  or  those  few  closely 
associated  with  him.   No  opposition  political  parties  or 
movements  are  permitted.   Membership  in  the  Malawi  Congress 
Party  is  not  mandatory  but  is  often  coerced.   Active 
membership  is  expected  of  those  who  aspire  to  government 
positions  (including  the  Civil  Service)  or  professional 
success  outside  of  government.   Party  membership  is  often 
required  of  school  children  and  of  those  who  seek  access  to 
government  services  or  entrance  to  local  markets.   The  annual 
renewal  fee  is  only  about  25  cents,  but  this  can  be  nearly 
half  a  day's  pay  for  a  minimum  wage  earner.   In  addition,  when 
the  President  visits  an  area,  financial  contributions  from 
individuals  and  businesses  are  expected.   Nearly  half  the 
population  holds  at  least  nominal  party  membership. 

The  party's  structure  provides  for  some  choice  among 
candidates  for  party,  parliamentary,  or  other  offices.   For 
example,  in  the  parliamentary  elections  held  in  1987,  there 
were  several  candidates  for  election  in  a  number  of 
constituencies.   Nearly  one-half  of  the  incumbent  Members  of 
Parliament  were  not  reelected.   All  nominees,  however,  were 
selected  by  the  party  and  submitted  to  the  President  for 
review.   Active  campaigning  was  not  permitted.   The  National 
Assembly  (Parliament),  consisting  of  both  elected  and 
appointed  members,  is  mainly  concerned  with  ratifying 
government  policy.   Its  powers  are  broadly  based  in  law,  but 
highly  circumscribed  in  practice.   Women  may  join  the  party 
and  vote.   Women  hold  10  of  the  112  elected  seats  in 
Parliament.   No  women  hold  ministerial  level  positions. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  does  not  permit  organizations  such  as  the 
International  Committee  of  the  Red  Cross  or  Amnesty 
International  to  conduct  human  rights  investigations  in 
Malawi.   Nongovernmental  organizations  devoted  to  the 
furtherance  of  human  rights  are  not  permitted  to  exist. 

Expressions  of  interest  in  alleged  human  rights  problems  by 
outside  groups  or  persons  are  not  welcomed  and  are  usually 
ignored.   Few  government  officials  are  even  willing  to  discuss 
the  subject  of  human  rights. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

While  Malawi  remains  one  of  the  world's  least  developed 
countries,  economic  and  social  needs  of  ethnic  Africans  are 
generally  met  on  a  nondiscriminatory  basis.   Asian  residents, 
however,  have  been  discriminated  against  in  recent  years.   For 
instance,  Asians,  whether  Malawian  citizens  or  not,  have  been 
compelled  to  transfer  ownership  of  rural  shops  and  trucking 
businesses  to  ethnic  African  Malawian  citizens,  and  within 
some  urban  centers,  strict  rules  governing  where  Asians  may 
own  property  result  in  limitations  on  where  they  may  reside. 

Prior  to  1987,  persons  who  held  foreign  passports  could  reside 
indefinitely  in  Malawi.   Recent  legislation,  however,  aimed 
primarily  at  persons  of  Asian  origin,  rescinded  this 
permission.   These  changes  in  the  citizenship  law,  together 
with  the  Forfeiture  Act  actions  (which  have  been  applied  in 
large  measure  against  Asians),  have  led  many  in  the  small 


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MALAWI 

Asian  community  (about  5,000  persons)  to  question  whether  they 
have  a  long-term  future  in  Malawi. 

Women  are  limited  to  the  roles  defined  by  a  traditional 
African  society  and  do  not  have  opportunities  equal  to  those 
of  men.   As  mothers,  women  enjoy  access  to  the  traditional 
health  services  and  to  extension  programs  designed  to  improve 
women's  homemaking  abilities.   Such  programs,  while 
beneficial,  have  failed  to  recognize  the  importance  of  women 
as  agricultural  producers  in  the  rural  sector  (roughly  70 
percent  of  all  smallholder  farms  and  over  50  percent  of 
subsistence  holdings  are  headed  by  women)  and  the  potential 
role  women  can  have  in  the  modern  sector.   Although  males 
still  have  a  comparative  advantage  in  terms  of  educational  and 
employment  opportunities,  the  Government  has  initiated 
programs  to  begin  to  rectify  existing  discrimination.   For 
example,  a  third  of  the  positions  in  the  public  education 
system  have  been  reserved  for  women.   Although  Malawi's 
traditional  tribal  leadership  structures  are  primarily 
matrilineal,  several  small  ethnic  groups  grant  fewer  rights 
and  privileges  to  women  and  occasionally  continue  to  practice 
female  circumcision. 

Malawi  enjoys  a  considerable  degree  of  ethnolinguistic 
uniformity.   The  vast  majority  of  the  population  speaks  and/or 
understands  Chichewa,  which  became  the  national  language  in 
1968.   English  is  the  official  language  for  government  and 
business.   Malawi's  indigenous  groups  are  sufficiently  alike 
in  culture  and  social  organization  to  permit  relatively  easy 
interaction,  including  intermarriage,  social  and  residential 
intermixture  in  agricultural  settlements,  and  political 
cooperation  alliances. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

The  minimum  working  age  is  14,  though  this  applies  only  to  the 
relatively  small  urban  wage  sector.   Less  than  15  percent  of 
the  work  force  is  employed  in  the  formal  wage  sector.   For 
those  fortunate  enough  to  hold  paid  jobs,  wages  and  working 
conditions  are  generally  adequate,  and  paid  holidays  and 
safety  standards  in  the  workplace  are  required  by  law. 
However,  enforcement  of  these  standards  is  limited.   Wage 
levels  are  low--the  minimum  wage  is  about  50  cents  per  day  in 
the  urban  areas--ref lecting  the  abundance  of  unskilled  labor 
and  a  government  policy  to  limit  the  rural-urban  income  gap 
and  hence  the  rate  of  migration  to  the  towns.   Government 
regulations  limit  the  workweek  to  45  hours  in  the  construction 
industry,  and  48  hours  in  other  industries.   In  practice,  most 
employees  work  between  37.5  and  42.5  hours  per  week  over  5 
days . 


176 


MALI 


Mali  is  a  single  party  state  in  which  effective  authority  is 
exercised  by  General  Moussa  Traore,  President  of  the  Republic 
and  Secretary  General  of  the  Democratic  Union  of  the  Malian 
People  (UDPM) .   President  Traore  assumed  power  in  1968  through 
a  military-led  coup,  and  the  military  Government  adopted  a  new 
Constitution  in  1974.   Since  then,  under  Traore's  leadership, 
the  military  has  continued  to  exercise  influence  in  party  and 
civilian  affairs  but  increasingly  has  turned  over  day-to-day 
operations  to  civilians  and  encouraged  civilian  participation 
in  the  country's  political  life  at  all  levels  of  society.   In 
1987  military  officers  held  approximately  22  percent  of  cabinet 
portfolios,  and  20  percent  of  the  seats  in  the  party's  Central 
Executive  Bureau.   Military  officers  occupied  4  of  the  7 
governorships,  11  of  the  46  districts,  and  an  important  portion 
of  lower-level  administrative  posts,  particularly  in  the  border 
areas . 

Mali  maintains  an  army  and  air  force,  and  the  mission  of  the 
armed  forces  is  to  provide  both  external  and  internal  security. 
The  gendarmerie  (paramilitary  police)  assists  in  the  latter 
effort.   There  is  a  presidential  guard.   Mali  has  no  special 
internal  security  force. 

With  an  annual  per  capita  gross  national  product  of  $190,  Mali 
is  among  the  world's  10  poorest  countries.   It  is  landlocked 
and  lacks  easily  exploitable  mineral  resources.   Its  economy 
rests  on  subsistence  farming  and  animal  husbandry,  both  of 
which  have  been  adversely  affected  by  severe  droughts  in  the 
1970's  and  1980's.   Cotton  and  cattle  are  the  major  exports. 
While  its  economic  situation  remains  precarious,  its  population 
continues  to  increase  rapidly.   In  1987  the  Government 
struggled  to  implement  an  economic  structural  adjustment 
program  but  remained  dependent  on  external  aid. 

The  political  and  human  rights  situation  did  not  change 
significantly  in  1987.   Organized  political  opposition  groups 
are  not  permitted  in  Mali.   However,  in  the  context  of 
preparation  for  the  March  1987  extraordinary  party  congress, 
public  party  and  union  meetings  provided  arenas  for  citizens 
to  criticize  government  economic  reform  policies,  corruption, 
inefficiency,  and  acquisition  of  illicit  wealth  by  government 
officials  and  private  citizens.   The  President  appointed  a 
special  investigating  commission,  authorized  and  endorsed  by 
the  extraordinary  party  congress,  to  delve  into  corruption 
charges  in  the  Government  and  business.   The  commission  has 
extensive  authority  to  examine  documents  and  individuals.   The 
commission  is  not  a  party  body,  although  its  members  belong  to 
the  ruling  UDPM.   It  submitted  its  initial  report  in  November. 
On  the  basis  of  that  report,  a  special  court  examined  47  cases 
against  71  persons  accused  of  embezzling  public  funds. 

RESPECTS  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

No  politically  motivated  killings  were  reported  in  1987. 

b.  Disappearance 

No  incidents  of  disappearance,  abduction,  or  hostage-taking 
were  reported  in  1987. 


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MALI 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  Government  of  Mali  does  not  condone  police  brutality,  and 
has  issued  specific  instructions  prohibiting  brutality  against 
suspects.   However,  physical  abuse  of  suspected  persons 
sometimes  occurs  during  police  interrogation.   Torture  is 
rare,  but  public  beatings  by  the  citizenry  of  persons 
identified  as  thieves  occasionally  take  place. 

Prison  conditions  are  harsh.   Lack  of  resources  results  in 
inadequate  facilities.   Prisoners  can  be  sentenced  to  hard 
labor,  and  they  sometimes  perform  road  maintenance  work 
Several  prisons  are  located  in  isolated  inhospitable  northern 
desert  regions. 

In  its  1987  Report  (covering  1986),  Amnesty  International 
expressed  concern  about  the  harsh  conditions  at  Taoudenit 
prison  camp.   There  is  no  evidence  that  any  political 
prisoners  are  being  held  at  Taoudenit.   Prisoners  there  have 
been  sentenced  to  hard  labor  in  the  local  salt  mine.   Amnesty 
also  noted  that  it  had  received  reports  that  eight  persons, 
who  had  helped  a  student  leader  escape  the  country  in  1986, 
had  been  held  incommunicado  by  police  for  10  weeks.   Several 
were  reported  to  have  been  hung  by  their  hands  or  feet  and 
denied  adequate  food  and  medical  attention. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

No  incident  of  arbitrary  arrests,  detention,  or  exile,  was 
reported  in  1987.   The  Malian  judicial  system  is  based  on  the 
French  model.   Detained  persons  do  not  have  the  right  to  a 
judicial  determination  of  the  legality  of  their  detention,  but 
arrests  cannot  be  made  without  formal  charges.   However,  in 
political  cases,  the  authorities  do  not  always  follow  this 
practice.   For  example.  Amnesty  International  received  reports 
that  six  persons  arrested  in  1986  in  connection  with  alleged 
student  opposition  to  the  Government  were  held  for  over  5 
months  before  a  formal  order  authorizing  their  detention  was 
issued.   The  students  were  tried,  sentenced,  and  released  with 
all  the  time  spent  in  prison  applied  to  reduction  of  their 
sentences . 

Malian  law  does  not  provide  for  release  on  bail,  but  detainees 
are  sometimes  released  on  their  own  recognizance.   Prisoners 
are  usually  allowed  access  to  a  lawyer  of  their  choosing. 
Administrative  backlogs  cause  frequent  delays  in  scheduling 
trials . 

Forced  or  compulsory  labor  is  prohibited  except  in  cases  of 
convicted  criminals. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

New  laws  have  been  enacted  to  make  the  judicial  system  conform 
to  Malian  life,  but  French  colonial  laws  not  abrogated  still 
have  the  force  of  law.   The  judiciary  is  not  independent  but 
rather  part  of  the  executive  branch.   At  the  apex  is  the 
Supreme  Court  with  both  judicial  and  administrative  powers. 
Trials  generally  are  of  short  duration.   While  confessions  are 
generally  not  coerced,  in  practice  defendants  usually  admit 
guilt  in  the  hope  of  receiving  a  more  lenient  sentence  and 
allow  their  lawyers  to  argue  mitigating  circumstances.   The 
verdict  and  sentence  are  rendered  by  a  panel  of  three  judges. 
Once  convicted,  redress  depends  on  an  appeal  for  a  presidential 


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pardon  or  a  request  for  a  new  trial.   The  Constitution 
stipulates  that  the  National  Assembly  can  convene  a  High  Court 
of  Justice  to  hear  cases  against  state  ministers,  but  this 
court  did  not  meet  in  1987. 

Although  the  exact  number  of  political  prisoners  is  not  known, 
it  is  believed  to  be  very  low.   The  Government  uses  its 
Independence  Day  celebrations  as  an  annual  occasion  to  grant  a 
limited  number  of  pardons,  including  to  selected  political 
prisoners.   In  September  1987,  presidential  pardons  were 
granted  to  five  men  convicted  in  1976  for  their  role  in  an 
attempted  coup.   In  its  1987  Report,  Amnesty  International 
stated  that  all  "prisoners  of  conscience"  had  been  released  by 
the  end  of  1986. 

Corruption  has  become  a  major  issue  in  Malian  political  life, 
and  has  been  discussed  in  a  number  of  different  public  forums. 
In  1987  the  President  appointed  a  special  commission  to 
investigate  accusations  of  corruption  in  47  cases  against  71 
persons.   The  commission  reported  its  findings  in  November, 
and  a  special  court  rendered  judgments  in  December.   Nine 
persons  were  sentenced  to  death,  some  in  absentia,  while  those 
who  repaid  embezzled  funds  were  reprimanded  or  lightly 
sentence.   The  death  sentences  have  not  been  carried  out  and 
may  be  commuted.   While  the  commission  mandate  does  not  limit 
its  investigations  to  government  officials,  no  private 
businessmen  have  been  arrested. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Inviolability  of  the  home  is  provided  for  in  the  Constitution 
and  generally  respected  in  practice.   Police  searches  are 
infrequent,  and  warrants  must  be  issued  and  recorded.   However, 
this  occasionally  occurs  after  the  fact. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Malian  Constitution  does  not  ensure  freedom  of  speech  and 
press.   The  Government  controls  all  Malian  media,  and  all 
journalists  are  government  employees.  General  public 
questioning  of  government  authority  is  not  permitted. 
However,  Criticism  of  specific  programs,  aspects  of  society, 
or  the  performance  of  government  offices  and  office-holders  is 
permitted.   Prior  to  the  1987  extraordinary  party  congress, 
the  President  himself  participated  in  a  series  of  public 
meetings  in  which  charges  of  corruption  were  leveled  against 
his  Government.   Academic  freedom  does  not  extend  to  criticism 
of  the  Government  or  its  policies.   Private  antigovernment 
Malian  publications  are  not  tolerated,  but  international 
publications,  even  those  critical  of  Mali  and  its  Government, 
are  readily  available  and  circulate  freely. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  Malian  Constitution  assures  the  liberty  of  citizens  to 
form  organizations  to  protect  their  "professional  interests," 
but,  in  reality,  only  selected  organizations,  such  as  urban 
professional  associations,  qualify.   Only  the  women's,  youth, 
and  labor  associations  of  the  UDPM  assemble  freely. 

The  National  Union  of  Malian  Workers  (UNTM) ,  composed  of  12 
unions,  is  the  only  recognized  workers'  organization.   It 


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MALI 

maintains  contacts  with  international  labor  organizations. 
The  UNTM  claims  to  maintain  a  degree  of  autonomy  from  the 
Government,  and  it  enjoys  limited  freedom  to  criticize  some 
government  programs.   Its  Secretary  General  is  a  party  member 
but  is  not  a  member  of  the  party's  Central  Executive  Council. 
Under  close  government  monitoring  and  guidelines,  limited 
collective  bargaining  is  permitted.   Strikes  seldom  occur. 
There  were  a  series  of  minor  strikes  by  teachers  in  December 
1986  and  again  in  December  1987  to  protest  repeated  delayed 
payment  of  government  salaries.   In  contrast  to  1986,  when 
several  strike  leaders  were  arrested,  there  were  no  arrests  in 
1987.   Strikes  for  political  reasons  are  illegal. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Mali  is  a  secular  state.   Although  90  percent  of  Malians  are 
Muslim,  most  other  religions  may  practice  their  faiths  freely 
and  are  permitted  to  establish  houses  of  worship  as  well  as 
schools.   Christian  missionaries  of  various  faiths  enjoy 
government  cooperation.   Proselytizing  and  conversion  are 
permitted,  except  in  the  case  of  the  Baha ' i ,  who  may  practice 
at  home  but  may  not  proselytize  or  establish  houses  of 
worship . 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Freedom  of  movement  in  Mali  is  generally  unimpeded,  although 
travelers  are  sometimes  subject  to  police  checks,  especially 
at  night.   These  checks  are  legal  and  are  used  as  a  means  to 
restrict  the  movement  of  contraband  goods.   In  practice,  some 
police  probably  supplement  their  frequently  delayed  salaries 
by  assessing  ad  hoc  fines  or  confiscating  goods.   Malians  are 
free  to  change  residence  or  workplace.   Foreign  travel  requires 
an  exit  visa,  but  this  is  easy  to  obtain.   Repatriation  is  not 
restricted. 

During  the  recent  drought  years,  Mali  both  accepted  and 
generated  displaced  persons.   Several  thousand  Malians  were 
repatriated  from  Algeria  in  1986  and  1987.   In  1987  Mali  also 
welcomed  back  over  100  Malians  deported  from  France. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  have  limited  and  infrequent  opportunity  to  influence 
their  government  and  no  ability  to  change  it.   The  military 
role  in  governing  Mali  remains  important,  but  civilian 
participation  in  the  leadership  groups  has  been  growing. 
Important  policies  and  decisions  are  made  by  a  small  group 
composed  of  the  President,  the  party's  Central  Executive 
Bureau,  and  the  Council  of  Ministers.   The  memberships  of 
these  groups  overlap.   Party  congresses,  such  as  the  one  held 
in  March  1987,  are  called  by  the  President  to  consider  special 
issues.   In  1987  the  issues  included  political  participation 
and  corruption,  and  the  congress  adopted  a  new  National  Charter 
of  National  Reorientation  of  Public  Life,  calling  on  Malians 
to  dedicate  efforts  to  economic  development.   One  of  the 
mandates  of  the  new  Charter,  and  of  the  newly  appointed 
special  commission  to  assist  the  Secretary  General  of  the 
party,  is  to  recruit  new  leadership  and  encourage  greater 
public  participation  in  the  party,  and,  by  extension,  the 
Government . 


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MALI 

Within  the  one-party  system,  multiple  candidates  often  contest 
party  elections  at  the  local  level,  but  for  National  Assembly 
elections,  which  are  held  every  4  years,  one  carefully 
selected  party  candidate  runs  for  each  seat.   The  National 
Assembly  debates  proposed  legislation  after  its  acceptance  by 
the  Council  of  Ministers  and  review  by  the  Supreme  Court.   The 
Assembly's  role  is  to  endorse  the  decisions  taken  by  the 
Council . 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  is  generally  responsive  to  calls  by  recognized 
human  rights  groups.   There  are  no  local  organizations  to 
monitor  human  rights.   The  Ministry  of  Foreign  Affairs  handles 
human  rights-related  inquiries  from  Amnesty  International  or 
other  international  human  rights  organizations.   The  Ministry 
of  Justice,  with  jurisdiction  over  the  courts,  administers 
Malian  law.   Mali  does  not  play  a  major  role  in  international 
human  rights  forums. 

Section  6   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Virtually  all  Mali's  ethnic  groups  are  represented  at  the 
highest  state  and  party  levels.   Although  some  nomadic  groups 
such  as  the  Tuaregs  remain  outside  the  economic  and  political 
mainstream,  Mali  is  relatively  free  of  ethnic  tensions. 

Social  and  cultural  factors  place  men  in  the  dominant  position 
in  Mali.   However,  women  play  an  important  economic  role,  both 
in  market  life  and  in  farming.   While  under  represented,  women 
are  present  at  all  levels  of  the  Government  and  in  the  party. 
Two  women  are  cabinet  ministers,  and  one  is  in  the  party's 
Central  Executive  Bureau.   Three  are  members  of  the  National 
Assembly.   Nonetheless,  custom  tends  to  restrict  women  to 
"women's  issues"  when  they  participate  in  politics.   The 
women's  union  focuses  primarily  on  establishing  cooperatives, 
improving  health  programs,  fostering  education,  and  campaigning 
against  female  circumcision,  which  is  still  widely  practiced. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Mali  has  a  detailed  labor  code  specifying  conditions  of 
employment,  including  hours,  wages,  and  social  security 
benefits.   The  minimum  wage  is  approximately  $142.50  per 
month.   Health  and  safety  standards  vary  depending  upon  the 
category  of  work,  but  there  is  limited  enforcement  due  to  the 
lack  of  inspectors.   Employers  are  required  to  pay  into  a 
National  Social  Security  Fund.   While  the  minimum  age  for 
employment  is  14,  with  parents'  permission  children  can  be 
apprenticed  at  12.   In  practice,  children  in  rural  areas  join 
the  work  force  at  a  much  younger  age,  and  workers  in  the 
informal  sector  are  not  protected  by  laws  against  unjust 
compensation,  excessive  hours,  and  capricious  discharge. 


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MAURITANIA 


Since  1978  Mauritania  has  been  governed  by  the  Military 
Committee  for  National  Salvation  (CMSN) .   Colonel  Maaouya  Ould 
Sid'Ahmed  Taya,  President  of  the  Committee,  is  Chief  of  State. 
He  assumed  power  in  1984  after  the  bloodless  ouster  of  the 
former  President,  Lt .  Colonel  Mohamed  Khouna  Ould  Haidalla. 
All  18  members  of  the  Military  Committee  hold  ministerial 
portfolios  or  occupy  other  key  military  or  government 
positions.   The  Committee  functions  as  a  legislative  body, 
whereas  the  President,  assisted  by  a  few  close  advisers, 
wields  the  executive  power.   Political  and  opposition  parties 
are  not  allowed  in  Mauritania.   The  Government  uses  a  quasi- 
political  organization,  the  Structure  for  the  Education  of  the 
Masses  (SEM),  to  mobilize  the  people  to  carry  out  local 
improvement  projects,  to  relay  policy  statements,  and  to  serve 
as  a  channel  to  discuss  grievances.   SEMs  are  found  at  all 
governmental  levels  down  to  villages  and  neighborhoods. 

The  security  forces  number  about  13,000  and,  in  addition  to 
the  regular  armed  forces,  include  the  national  guard,  the 
gendarmerie  (a  specialized  corps  of  paramilitary  police),  and 
the  police.   The  national  guard,  gendarmerie,  and  police  all 
have  internal  security  functions. 

Mauritania  continues  to  face  massive  economic  and  social 
problems:   Droughts  and  desertification,  the  Western  Sahara 
conflict,  ethnic  tensions,  massive  unemployment,  one  of  the 
highest  per  capita  debts  in  Africa,  poor  infrastructure, 
inadequate  health  and  educational  systems,  and  a  mass  exodus 
from  rural  areas.   Although  adequate  rains  fell  in  recent 
years,  the  prior  drought  years  forced  large  numbers  of  nomads 
into  towns.   This  forced  migration  resulted  in  urban  refugee 
camps,  a  weakened  traditional  Maur  nomadic  culture,  and  a 
severe  strain  on  government  resources.   According  to  one 
report,  20  years  ago  85  percent  of  the  population  was 
nomadic.   In  1987  only  15  percent  remained  in  the  desert. 

President  Taya  has  publicly  advocated  a  harmonious, 
multiethnic  society;  but  in  1987,  as  in  1986,  there  was 
agitation  among  Mauritania's  Toucouleur  black  ethnic  group, 
who  alleged  discrimination  by  the  ruling  Arab-Berber 
population.   In  the  wake  of  the  1986  unrest,  the  Government  in 
1986  and  1987  arrested,  tried,  and  sentenced  39  Toucouleurs  on 
charges  of  sedition  and  threatening  national  unity.   In  October 
1987,  following  the  discovery  of  a  coup  plot  reportedly  led  by 
Toucouleur  military  personnel,  the  Government  detained  over 
200  Toucouleur,  and  51  were  charged  with  sedition,  with  the 
remainder  being  released.   The  51  received  a  trial  in  the 
course  of  which  the  Government  respected  the  accepted  norms  of 
Mauritanian  justice.   At  the  end  of  the  trial,  the  Special 
Court  of  Justice  sentenced  3  defendants  to  death,  18  to  life 
imprisonment,  and  17  to  lesser  sentences.   Seven  defendants 
were  acquitted.   The  death  sentences  were  carried  out  3  days 
later.   Following  the  executions,  street  clashes  broke  out  for 
several  days  between  groups  of  Maur  and  Toucouleur  students 
and  youths  in  Nouakchott.   The  Government  briefly  detained 
about  100  youths.   The  Government  also  detained  more  than  20 
Toucouleur  adults  whom  it  suspected  of  masterminding  some  of 
the  street  disturbances.   Many  blacks  interpreted  the 
Government's  actions  to  mean  a  continued  domination  by  white 
Maurs  in  all  levels  of  social,  economic,  and  especially 
governmental  life. 


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MAURITANIA 


RESPECT    FOR    HU^4AN    RIGHTS 


Section  1 


Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  From: 


a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  killings. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  disappearances, 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

According  to  the  laws  of  Mauritania,  torture  is  not  allowed. 
There  are,  however,  recurring  and  credible  reports  that 
security  forces  beat  suspects  to  extract  confessions. 
Conditions  in  Mauritanian  prisons  are  generally  grim.   In 
Rosso,  for  example,  at  least  two  prisoners  died  of  heat 
exhaustion  in  early  1987  after  being  forced  into  overcrowded 
cells.   (Following  the  incident,  authorities  improved  the 
ventilation  of  the  prison's  cells.) 

Tcucouleur  prisoners  arrested  in  1986  reported  that  they  were 
initially  denied  proper  medical  care  and  family  visits  and 
also  stated  that  the  food  was  poor.   Family  protests  and 
intervention  by  the  Mauritanian  Human  Rights  League  in  1987 
resulted  in  written  assurances  from  the  Minister  of  Interior 
that  the  prisoners  would  receive  regular  family  visits  and 
proper  health  care.   In  October  1987,  however,  prior  to  the 
coup  attempt,  sources  close  to  the  Toucouleur  prisoners 
circulated  an  open  letter  in  which  the  Toucouleur  inmates 
maintained  that  they  still  did  not  have  family  visits  or 
adequate  health  care.   In  the  letter,  the  prisoners  also 
reported  that  they  had  been  tortured  during  their 
interrogations . 


The  Toucouleur  military  p 
detained  immediately  afte 
subsequently  released  wer 
period  of  detention.  App 
mistreated  during  their  s 
Toucouleurs  who  were  trie 
been  treated  properly  dur 
although  there  are  report 
they  were  first  arrested, 
transferred  the  44  defend 
on  December  3,  1987,  as  w 
received  prison  sentences 
unrest,  to  the  remote  des 
According  to  eyewitnesses 
manacles  overland  by  true 
cramped  quarters  for  the 
Most  of  these  prisoners' 
in  Tichitt  or  Oualata,  si 
locations  in  the  country. 


ersonnel  and  civilians  who  were 

r  the  foiled  1987  coup  plot  and 

e  denied  family  visits  during  their 

arently,  however,  they  were  not 

tay  in  custody.   Most  of  the  51 

d  by  the  Special  Court  appear  to  have 

ing  arrest,  interrogation,  and  trial, 

s  that  one  or  two  were  beaten  when 

In  mid-December  1987,  the  Government 
ants  who  had  been  sentenced  to  prison 
ell  as  the  39  Toucouleurs  who  had 

in  the  wake  of  the  1986  Toucouleur 
ert  towns  of  Tichitt  and  Oualata. 
,  these  prisoners  were  transported  in 
k,  having  to  remain  confined  in 
duration  of  the  20-  to  30-hour  trip, 
families  will  be  unable  to  visit  them 
nee  these  are  among  the  most  remote 


d.   Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Mauritanian  law  assures  expeditious  arraignment  and  trial, 
access  to  legal  counsel,  and  the  right  of  appeal.   In  practice, 
however,  the  Government  does  not  always  respect  this  right. 
In  the  fall  of  1987,  the  Government  dismissed  and  arrested 


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MAURITANIA 

Minister  of  Economy  and  Finance  Mohamad  Salem  Ould  Lekhal, 
Minister  of  Fisheries  and  Maritime  Economy  Sidi  Ould  Cheikh 
Abdellahi,  and  Central  Bank  Director  Dieng  Boubou  Farba.   The 
Government  suspected  the  three  men  of  collusion  with  Hmeida 
Bouchraya,  one  of  the  country's  leading  businessmen,  in  his 
illegal  transfer  of  large  sums  of  money  out  of  the  country. 
Reportedly  the  Government  has  detained  these  three  former 
government  officials  in  the  remote  desert  tovjn  of  Ouadane 
since  late  September,  without,  however,  filing  any  charges 
against  them. 

Based  on  legislation  enacted  before  the  1978  coup,  the 
authorities  have  the  right  to  detain,  without  trial  or  appeal, 
anyone  judged  to  be  a  threat  to  national  security.   Colonel 
Moulaye  Ould  Boukhreiss  was  arrested  and  held  incommunicado  in 
August  1987  for  allegedly  conspiring  and  conducting  a 
propaganda  campaign  against  the  Government.   After 
interrogating  him  for  several  weeks,  the  Government  exonerated 
him  from  any  wrongdoing  and  released  him  in  September.   At  no 
point  during  Boukhreiss'  arrest  was  he  formally  charged. 
Detainees  are  sometimes  confined  to  their  residences;  however, 
Mauritania  maintains  prisons  in  Nouakchott,  Jereida,  and 
elsewhere  for  more  serious  crimes. 

The  Government  justified  the  large-scale  arrests  and  detentions 
of  Toucouleurs  in  1986  and  early  1987  on  the  grounds  of 
national  security.   Government  sources  maintained  that  these 
militants  were  members  of  a  clandestine  subversive  group, 
FLAM,  which  was  planning  a  campaign  of  terrorism  and 
assassination.   After  the  October  coup  attempt,  the  Government 
detained  more  than  200  persons,  of  whom  more  than  20  were 
still  in  custody  at  the  end  of  1987  without  specific  charges 
having  been  brought  against  them.   Nevertheless,  by  the  end  of 
1987  the  Government's  actions  had  led  to  widespread  discontent 
in  the  Toucouleur  community.   Most  Toucouleurs  interpret  the 
latest  arrests  as  a  further  sign  that  the  military  Government 
will  take  whatever  steps  are  necessary  to  thwart  the 
aspirations  of  the  non-Maurs,  especially  in  sharing  political 
power . 

Internal  exile  is  a  method  of  removing  opposition  figures  from 
the  public  eye.   Former  President  Haidalla  and  five  of  his 
associates,  who  were  arrested  during  the  1984  coup  but  never 
formally  charged,  remain  in  internal  exile  in  remote  locations. 

The  subject  of  forced  labor  is  tied  to  the  vestiges  of  slavery 
which  exist  in  some  areas  of  the  country.   Slavery  in 
Mauritania  was  officially  abolished  in  1980.   Nevertheless, 
some  persons  whose  ancestors  for  generations  have  worked 
without  pay  for  a  particular  family  still  occupy  positions  of 
servitude  in  1987,  in  part  because  of  the  economic  hardships 
which  they  would  encounter  upon  leaving  their  positions. 

In  an  effort  to  eradicate  the  last  vestiges  of  slavery,  the 
Government  invited  United  Nations'  assistance,  began  a  mass 
media  education  campaign  which  utilizes  rural  radio  and 
television  to  promote  public  awareness  of  the  problem,  and 
provided  small-scale  financial  assistance  to  former  slaves  for 
agricultural  and  handicraft  businesses.   The  Taya  regime 
also  made  an  effort  to  appoint  members  of  slave  castes  to  high 
government  and  military  positions  as  a  visible  indication  of 
the  end  of  slavery. 


80-779  0-88-7 


184 


MAURITANIA 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

In  September  1986,  the  Taya  Government  arrested  some  30 
prominent  black  Toucouleurs,  mainly  professionals,  for 
protesting  white  Maur  domination  of  the  political  and  economic 
systems.   They  had  circulated  a  political  treatise,  "Manifesto 
of  the  Oppressed  Negro-Mauritanian, "  in  which  they  articulated 
grievances  against  Arabization,  concerns  about  the  adverse 
effects  of  recent  land  reform  law  by  which  white  Maurs  have 
appropriated  large  tracts  of  valuable  land  from  their 
traditional  black  owners,  as  well  as  complaints  about  the 
underrepresentation  of  blacks  in  government  and  the 
undemocratic  nature  of  the  Mauritanian  Government.   In  one 
passage  the  document  advocated  the  use  of  violence  to  prevent 
the  appropriation  by  Maurs  of  land  belonging  to  blacks. 

Twenty-one  of  the  30  were  brought  to  trial  on  September  25, 
1986,  and  charged  with  spreading  falsehoods  and  hatred,  holding 
unauthorized  meetings,  distributing  seditious  material,  and 
calling  for  civil  disorder.   In  a  trial  that  lasted  1  day,  the 
21  were  convicted  on  all  charges.   Four  received  light 
sentences,  while  16  were  given  sentences  of  4  to  5  years  in 
prison  to  be  followed  by  5  to  10  years  in  internal  exile  and 
loss  of  civil  rights.   Subsequently,  in  1987  but  prior  to  the 
October  coup  attempt,  another  18  Toucouleur  militants,  who  had 
been  arrested  at  the  time  of  the  1986  agitation,  received 
similar  sentences. 

The  Toucouleurs  hired  civilian  lawyers  for  the  1986  trial,  but 
the  lawyers  resigned  collectively  prior  to  the  trial  because 
they  had  not  had  time  to  prepare  the  cases  and,  in  particular, 
to  review  the  prosecution  dossiers.   While  the  court 
subsequently  appointed  lawyers  for  the  defendants,  the  entire 
episode  raised  serious  questions  about  the  fairness  of  the 
trial.   Amnesty  International  in  its  1987  Report  stated  that 
the  trial  was  "marked  by  serious  inadequacies." 

The  Taya  Government  continues  to  function  under  the  Shari'a 
(Islamic  Law),  put  in  place  during  the  Haidalla  regime.   The 
Ministry  of  Justice  and  Islamic  Affairs  plays  the  major  role 
in  administering  the  Shari'a  and  selecting  judicial  personnel. 
The  Shari'a  applies  to  most  crimes  and  offenses,  with  the 
exception  of  commercial  and  banking  offenses,  as  well  as 
traffic  violations.   The  Taya  administration,  however,  has 
urged  the  Islamic  judges  not  to  use  extreme  physical 
punishments  such  as  amputations,  which  occurred  during  the 
Haidalla  regime.   The  Taya  Government  inherited  a  number  of 
unqualified  Shari'a  judges  who  were  appointed  during  the 
Haidalla  years.   Judges  cannot  be  tenured  before  7  years  by 
virtue  of  a  recent  government  decision.   Consequently,  the 
Minister  of  Justice  has  the  power  to  dismiss  them  and  is 
slowly  eliminating  unqualified  officials. 

One  result  of  the  use  of  Shari'a  has  been  that  Western-trained 
lawyers  are  unable  to  practice  in  most  cases  unless  they  are 
retrained.   Many  only  work  in  specialized  areas  such  as 
banking,  insurance,  and  traffic  accidents,  where  Islamic  law 
does  not  apply. 

In  September  1987,  the  Government  tried  eight  "Baathist" 
supporters  on  charges  of  unlawful  assembly,  criminal 
conspiracy,  corruption  of  juveniles,  and  illegal  restraint. 
Despite  the  state  prosecutor's  request  for  stiff  sentences  for 
the  defendants,  the  court  acquitted  two  and  gave  the  others 
light  suspended  sentences.   Two  of  those  convicted  were  members 


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of  the  Mauritanian  Human  Rights  League.   Many  Mauritanians 
hailed  this  decision  as  the  sign  of  a  fair  trial,  but  some 
observers  stated  the  convictions  violated  the  right  of 
assembly. 

On  December  3,  1987,  the  Special  Court  of  Justice  sentenced  to 
death  three  of  the  Toucouleur  military  officers  accused  of 
plotting  the  overthrow  of  the  regime.   The  sentences  were 
carried  out  shortly  thereafter.   A  number  of  Mauritanians, 
however,  do  not  believe  that  these  death  sentences  were 
justified  under  Mauritanian  law.   According  to  the  Mauritanian 
legal  code,  any  attempt  to  overthrow  the  Government  by  armed 
force  is  punishable  by  death.   The  Government  maintains  that 
at  the  time  of  the  plotters'  arrest,  approximately  half  a  day 
before  the  coup  was  supposed  to  occur,  they  had  taken  specific 
measures,  including  preparing  armored  vehicles  and  placing 
conspirators  in  strategic  locations,  that  amounted  to  the 
beginning  of  the  implementation  of  the  takeover.   But  many 
Mauritanians,  including  most  of  the  defendants'  lawyers, 
dispute  this  interpretation.   In  their  view,  these  actions  did 
not  amount  to  implementation,  and  the  accused  were  merely 
guilty  of  plotting  a  coup  instead  of  actually  conducting  a 
coup  attempt.   In  Mauritanian  law,  simply  planning  a  coup  is 
punishable  by  a  prison  sentence,  not  by  death. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Government  interference  in  private  affairs,  except  in 
instances  where  treason  is  suspected,  is  limited.   Reflecting 
the  nomadic  penchant  for  privacy  and  the  sanctity  of 
confidences,  the  lack  of  sophisticated  equipment  to  undertake 
surveillance,  and  the  isolation  of  many  parts  of  the  country, 
the  Government  normally  limits  its  surveillance  to  patrols  on 
major  highways  and  customs  check  points,  occasional  nighttime 
inspections  of  vehicular  traffic,  and  inspections  of  mail 
suspected  of  containing  currency  or  prohibited  items. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Freedom  of  speech  and  press  is  restricted.   Many  Mauritanians 
criticize  government  policies  in  conversations  with  friends 
and  relatives.   The  Government,  nevertheless,  is  quick  to 
react  to  any  comments  it  thinks  pose  a  threat  to  the  security 
of  the  State,  as  evidenced  by  the  1986  crackdown  on  Toucouleur 
dissidents.   In  particular,  any  expression  of  racial  or  ethnic 
tension,  or  questioning  of  government  legitimacy  draws  a  sharp 
government  response.   Private  discussions  within  the  family  or 
tribe  are  active  and  used  as  a  vehicle  to  present  dissenting 
views  on  issues.   Moreover,  President  Taya  invites  the  views 
of  traditional  local  leaders  during  his  visits  to  the  rural 
areas . 

Mauritania's  only  newspaper  and  radio  and  television  station 
are  government  owned  and  operated.   In  the  past  the  Government 
has  not  allowed  any  criticism  of  government  policies  or 
authority.   Recently,  however,  the  Government  has  begun  to 
experiment  with  interview  formats  by  which  a  government 
official  is  invited  to  air  views  on  television  with  a  panel. 
In  these  broadcasts  the  authorities  have  tolerated  limited 
criticism  of  government  decisions  and  policies.   International 
newspapers  and  magazines  are  readily  available,  although  the  . 
Government  occasionally  censors  issues  that  contain  material 


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it  considers  to  be  objectionable.   The  November  1986  edition 
of  Jeune  Afrique,  which  contained  an  article  critical  of  the 
Government's  treatment  of  blacks,  was  allowed  to  be  sold.   The 
populace  actively  follows  shortwave  broadcasts  and  Senegalese 
television. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Freedom  of  assembly  has  been  suspended  since  1978,  and  meetings 
with  political  themes  are  generally  prohibited,  as  in  the  case 
of  the  "Baathist"  supporters  (Section  I.e.).   The  Government 
allowed  large  but  controlled  demonstrations  and  rallies  to 
take  place  in  late  1986  during  the  campaigns  for  local 
municipal  councils.   In  the  wake  of  the  arrests  in  September 
1986  of  the  Toucouleur  activists,  sporadic  antigovernment 
protests  occurred.   The  demonstrations  were  quickly  suppressed 
by  armed  police  with  the  use  of  tear  gas.   During  the  latter 
half  of  1986,  the  Government  cracked  down  on  the  Toucouleur 
community  by  banning  meetings  of  black  self-help  groups  and 
cultural  organizations  and  even  checking  large  Toucouleur 
family  gatherings  such  as  weddings.   In  early  December, 
following  the  execution  of  the  three  Toucouleurs  sentenced  by 
the  Special  Court  of  Justice,  fights  broke  out  in  Nouakchott 
high  schools  and  market  places  between  groups  of  Toucouleur 
and  Maur  youths.   Government  security  forces  broke  up  these 
disturbances,  sometimes  detaining  those  involved  for  a  few 
hours  before  letting  them  go. 

Local  unions  are  the  only  remaining  organizations  with  any 
semblance  of  political  influence  following  the  1978  coup. 
Labor  unions  can  organize  nationally,  but  they  must  be 
affiliates  of  the  Mauritania  Workers  Union  (UTM) ,  by  law  the 
country's  only  central  labor  body.   Union  officials  state  that 
the  UTM  has  some  30,000  members.   The  annual  membership  fee  of 
$4  is  imposed  on  members  but,  in  addition,  the  Government 
frequently  finances  UTM  operations.   The  UTM  is  associated 
with  regional  and  international  labor  organizations  and  its 
officials  attend  many  international  labor  meetings,  where  they 
are  free  to  air  views  on  labor  consistent  with  Mauritanian 
policy. 

Wages  are  set  through  an  informal  bargaining  arrangement 
between  individual  unions,  the  employers,  the  Government,  and 
the  UTM.   Strikes  are  theoretically  possible,  although  they 
are  discouraged  by  the  Government  and  rarely  take  place. 
Disputes  over  labor  issues  are  heard  before  special 
three-person  labor  courts  which  are  overseen  jointly  by  the 
Ministries  of  Justice  and  Labor.   These  courts  are  regarded  by 
labor  union  leadership  as  unbiased  and  effective. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Islam  is  the  official  religion  of  Mauritania,  and  the  country's 
official  name  is  the  Islamic  Republic  of  Mauritania.   Virtually 
all  citizens  are  Muslim.   Proselytizing  by  non-Muslims  and  the 
construction  of  Christian  churches  and  other  non-Islamic  houses 
of  worship  are  prohibited  without  government  permission.   The 
Roman  Catholic  community  in  Mauritania  was  permitted  in  several 
instances  to  build  churches  which  operate  freely  as  long  as 
they  restrict  their  services  to  resident  foreigners. 
Mauritanian  Muslims  are  prohibited  from  entering  non-Islamic 
houses  of  worship  and  from  converting  to  another  religion. 


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d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

There  are  generally  no  restrictions  on  movement  within  this 
large  nomadic  country,  although  travelers  are  frequently 
subjected  to  routine  police  and  customs  checks  along  major 
highways  and  at  the  country's  international  and  domestic 
airports.   Years  of  drought  have  caused  many  nomads  to  migrate 
to  the  urban  areas,  thus  increasing  the  urban  populations  and 
creating  shantytowns.   Movement  has  been  controlled  in  the 
past  during  emergency  situations  by  imposing  curfews,  as 
occurred  briefly  following  the  1984  coup. 

The  requirement  that  Mauritanians  have  an  exit  visa  before 
traveling  abroad  was  ended  in  1985.   Those  political  leaders 
who  fled  the  country  since  the  overthrow  of  the  civilian 
Government  in  1978  have  been  invited  back,  and  almost  all  of 
them  have  returned. 

As  a  result  of  the  ongoing  conflict  in  neighboring  Western 
Sahara  between  Morocco  and  the  Polisario  Front,  a  small  number 
of  displaced  persons  from  the  Western  Sahara  have  entered 
Nouadhibou  and  other  northern  towns.   There  are,  however,  no 
acknowledged  political  refugees  in  Mauritania. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

All  political  power  rests  in  the  hands  of  the  military  regime. 
The  Military  Committee  for  National  Salvation  remains  the 
"custodian  of  the  nation's  sovereignty."   All  executive  and 
legislative  functions  reside  with  the  Committee.   Membership 
is  limited  to  military  officers  and  is  automatically  conferred 
on  incumbents  of  ministerial  positions  and  important  military 
and  security  posts.   Therefore,  in  practice,  citizens  of 
Mauritania  are  unable  democratically  to  change  their  government 
at  the  national  level.   The  CMSN  is  predominantly  Maur, 
although  several  blacks  are  members.   The  most  prominent  black 
on  the  CMSN  lost  his  position  in  the  wake  of  the  1986 
Toucouleur  unrest. 

A  limited  move  toward  increased  popular  participation  in 
government  occurred  in  December  1986  when  communal  council 
elections  took  place  in  Nouakchott  and  the  country's  12 
regional  capitals.   In  most  cities,  two  or  more  lists  of 
candidates  competed  for  the  electorate's  votes.   The 
Government  stipulated  that  each  list  contain  at  least  30 
people  from  various  regions,  ethnic  groups,  and  tribes.   The 
campaigning  was  vigorous  and  candidates  were  allowed  to  use 
the  media  to  spread  their  views.   Most  candidates  were  Maur 
civil  servants,  wealthy  merchants,  or  professionals  with  the 
necessary  skills  and  connections  to  mount  a  successful 
campaign.   Each  candidate  was  required  to  deposit  the 
equivalent  of  $570  (10  times  the  monthly  salary  of  an  average 
worker)  in  order  to  participate.   Black  activists  complained 
that  this  factor,  and  the  Government's  arrests  of  black 
activists  in  September  1986,  limited  black  participation  as 
candidates.   Despite  these  shortcomings,  during  their  first 
year  of  operations  the  newly  elected  municipal  councils  became 
genuine  decisionmaking  bodies  that  handled  most  municipal 
issues  with  little  or  no  central  government  interference. 


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Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  ot  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Taya  Government  is  sensitive  on  the  issue  of  human  rights 
and  has  cooperated  with  the  U.N.  Human  Rights  Commission 
Working  Group  on  Slavery  by  allowing  a  representative  to  come 
to  Mauritania  to  obtain  information  on  this  issue.   The 
Government  has  also  permitted  representatives  of  Amnesty 
International  to  visit  Nouakchott  for  discussions  on  the 
Toucouleur  issue.   As  a  result  of  the  President's  public 
commitment  to  an  ethnically  harmonious  society  and  a  return  to 
basic  human  rights,  the  Mauritanian  Human  Rights  League  was 
formed  in  1986.   The  League  is  staffed  by  volunteers  who  work 
within  the  government  framework  to  address  such  concerns  as 
eradicating  the  last  vestiges  of  slavery,  ensuring  the  uniform 
application  of  the  Shari'a  law,  promoting  the  status  of  women, 
and  preventing  abuses  such  as  arbitrary  arrest  and  torture. 
While  constrained  by  a  lack  of  financial  resources  and  careful 
not  to  antagonize  the  Government,  the  League  has  nonetheless 
insisted  that  the  rights  of  all  persons  detained  for  political 
offenses  be  respected. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Mauritania  is  situated  geographically  and  culturally  on  the 
divide  between  the  nomadic  Arabic-speaking  Maurs  of  the  north 
and  the  sedentary  blacks  of  the  African  south.   The  interaction 
of  these  two  groups  produces  the  complex  cultural  diversity 
which  fuels  ethnic  and  racial  tensions  inherent  in  Mauritanian 
society.   Recent  movements  of  nomads  to  the  south  as  a  result 
of  the  drought  have  exacerbated  tensions,  culminating  in  the 
1986  Toucouleur  agitation  and  the  subsequent  arrest  of 
Toucouleur  activists.   Historically,  and  since  independence  in 
1960,  the  Arabic-speaking  white  Maurs  have  dominated  the 
political  and  economic  system.   Taken  together,  however,  the 
Arabic-speaking  black  Maurs  and  Mauritania's  sedentary  black 
African  groups  (Toucouleur,  Soninke,  and  Wolof)  constitute  a 
clear  majority  of  the  population.   Many  of  these  blacks 
believe  that  they  are  entitled  to  more  political 
representation.   The  black  population  is  represented  at  all 
levels  of  government,  but  is  underrepresented  in  terms  of  its 
proportion  of  the  population.   Many  Toucouleurs  also  believe 
that  white  Maur  domination  in  government,  state  enterprises, 
business,  and  religious  institutions  is  a  result  of  racial 
discrimination.   Their  grievances  include  such  isues  as 
language  (Arabization  rather  than  continued  use  of  French) , 
limitations  on  educational  opportunities,  and  misapplication 
of  the  law  on  land  reform.   They  view  the  Government's  new 
land  reform  law  as  a  means  of  allowing  wealthy  white  Maurs 
access  to  potentially  productive  tracts  of  land  in 
traditionally  Toucouleur  areas.   The  loss  by  some  sedentary 
African  blacks  of  large  tracts  of  land  in  the  Senegal  River 
Valley  area  has  resulted  in  a  scramble  by  Toucouleurs  to 
register  their  land  with  the  appropriate  authorities,  an  alien 
practice  for  people  who  traditionally  have  looked  upon  land  as 
community  property. 

Women  in  conservative,  Mauritanian  Muslim  society  are,  for  the 
most  part,  limited  to  traditional  roles,  especially  outside 
the  few  urban  areas.   Only  half  as  many  women  as  men  avail 
themselves  of  educational  opportunities.   Nevertheless,  the 
Government  is  encouraging  the  participation  of  women  at  all 
levels  of  occupational  activity,  including  in  government  and 


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business.   A  woman  was  recently  appointed  as  Minister  of 
Mines,  and  a  number  of  others  have  moved  into  senior  or 
midlevel  government  positions.   In  addition,  the  Government 
has  been  opening  up  new  opportunities  for  employment  in  work 
traditionally  reserved  for  men,  e.g.,  certain  jobs  in 
hospitals.   The  Government  reportedly  is  considering  allowing 
women  to  serve  in  the  armed  forces  as  support  personnel. 
Although  few  women  were  on  the  lists  of  candidates,  large 
numbers  of  women  turned  out  for  the  election  rallies  in 
support  of  their  candidates. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Mauritania  has  one  of  the  lowest  standards  of  living  in  the 
world.   It  has  a  population  of  1.9  million  people  and  an  annual 
growth  rate  of  3  percent.   Most  of  its  modern  economic 
activities  are  concentrated  in  the  northern  and  central  regions 
where  mining  and  fishing  operations  take  place.   The  chief 
economic  activities  in  the  South,  where  the  majority  of  the 
black  population  is  located,  are  farming  and  livestock  raising. 
Figures  for  unemployment  range  from  50  to  90  percent,  but  do 
not  necessarily  represent  an  accurate  reflection  of  labor 
employment . 

Education  is  not  compulsory  in  Mauritania;  however,  by  law  no 
child  may  be  employed  before  the  age  of  14  in  the  agricultural 
sector  without  the  permission  of  the  Minister  of  Labor  and 
National  Labor  Council,  or  before  the  age  of  15  in 
nonagricultural  sectors.   The  law  provides  that  employed 
children  from  14-16  years  should  receive  70  percent  of  the 
minimum  wage,  and  those  from  17-18  receive  90  percent  of  the 
minimum  wage.   Although  there  are  no  figures  available,  child 
labor  (except  in  the  family-owned  agriculture  sector)  is  not 
thought  to  be  widespread. 

The  guaranteed  minimum  wage  for  adults  is  $70  per  month.   The 
standard  nonagricultural  workweek  in  Mauritania  is  not  to 
exceed  40  hours  or  6  days  per  week  without  adequate  overtime 
compensation  which  is  paid  at  the  following  rates:  41st  to 
48th  hours,  115  percent;  49th  to  54th  hours,  140  percent;  and, 
55th  hour  and  over,  150  percent  of  the  base  wage.   However, 
information  on  actual  wage  levels  is  scanty  and  often 
unreliable.   Enforcement  of  the  labor  laws  is  the 
responsibility  of  the  Labor  Inspectorate,  Ministry  of  Labor, 
but  in  practice  is  limited  by  the  shortage  of  trained 
personnel . 


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Mauritius  is  a  small,  densely  populated  island  country  with  a 
functioning  parliamentary  democracy  modeled  after  that  of 
Great  Britain.   It  is  governed  by  a  prime  minister,  council  of 
ministers,  and  legislative  assembly.   The  Governor  General, 
with  largely  ceremonial  powers,  represents  Queen  Elizabeth  II, 
the  titular  Head  of  State.   Elections  at  national  and  local 
levels  take  place  at  regular  intervals.   There  are  four  major 
political  parties,  which  reflect  a  wide  range  of  ideological 
views,  and  several  smaller  parties.   Executive  power  has 
changed  hands  twice  in  the  last  6  years  through  fair  and 
orderly  elections  supervised  by  an  independent  commission. 
Municipal  elections  in  1985  returned  the  main  opposition  party 
to  power  in  Mauritius'  five  largest  cities.   Prime  Minister 
Jugnauth's  coalition  had  its  mandate  renewed  in  general 
elections  in  August  1987. 

Mauritius  has  no  military  forces  and  depends  on  the 
paramilitary  700-man  Special  Mobile  Force  and  the  240-man 
Police  Riot  Unit  for  internal  security.   These  forces,  under 
the  command  of  the  Commissioner  of  Police,  are  apolitical, 
well  trained,  and  backed  by  a  general  duty  police  force  of 
approximately  4,000  men. 

Mauritius  has  a  mixed  economy  based  on  sugar  production, 
tourism,  and  textiles,  with  a  strong  private  sector.   In  1987 
the  economy  continued  its  recovery,  registering  an  estimated  5 
percent  growth  rate  and  creating  some  20,000  jobs.   Following 
the  successful  economic  adjustment  policies  of  1982-1986,  it 
was  not  necessary  for  Mauritius  to  renew  its  standby  agreement 
with  the  International  Monetary  Fund.   During  1987  Mauritius 
signed  a  $60  million  structural  adjustment  loan  with  the  World 
Bank  and  the  African  Development  Bank. 

Mauritius  has  a  good  human  rights  record.   Political  and  civil 
rights,  including  the  freedoms  of  speech  and  press,  are 
protected  under  the  Mauritian  Constitution  and  respected  in 
practice.   The  August  30,  1987,  elections  for  Parliament  were 
preceded  by  intense  campaigning,  including  regular  public 
rallies.   The  Dangerous  Drugs  Act  of  1986,  which  is  aimed  at 
curtailing  drug  use  and  trafficking,  has  led  to  large-scale 
arrests,  convictions,  and  controversy  over  some  of  its 
provisions . 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  government-inspired  political 
ki llings . 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  disappearance  of  persons  for 
political  causes. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Torture  and  inhuman  punishment  are  prohibited  by  law,  and 
there  were  no  reports  of  degrading  treatment  or  punishment. 
The  situation  was  exacerbated  in  1987  by  government  efforts  to 


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cope  with  increased  narcotics  trafficking.   According  to  local 
press  accounts,  over  700  people  were  arrested  during  1987  for 
possessing  narcotics  substances.   Figures  are  not  available 
for  the  number  of  those  arrested  who  were  subsequently 
imprisoned.   The  Government  is  sensitive  to  prison  conditions 
and  is  publicly  committed  to  their  improvement. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

There  have  been  no  reports  of  arbitrary  arrests  or  detentions 
since  the  early  1970's.   Detained  persons  have  the  right  to  a 
judicial  determination  of  the  legality  of  their  detention.   In 
practice,  this  determination  is  usually  made  within  24  hours. 
Bail  is  commonly  granted.   The  Supreme  Court  ruled  invalid  in 
1986  a  section  of  the  Dangerous  Drugs  Act  of  1986  which  had 
provided  for  detention  without  bail  for  persons  arrested  under 
Clause  46  (2)  of  the  Act. 

Exile  is  legally  prohibited.   The  Constitution  prohibits  any 
form  of  forced  or  compulsory  labor,  and  this  prohibition  is 
respected. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Mauritius'  judicial  system,  modeled  on  that  of  Great  Britain, 
consists  of  the  Supreme  Court,  which  has  appellate  powers,  and 
a  series  of  lower  courts.   Final  appeal  may  be  made  to  the 
Queen's  Privy  Council  in  the  United  Kingdom  and  is  routinely 
made  in  the  cases  of  death  sentences.   There  are  no  political 
or  military  courts.   The  legal  system  has  consistently  provided 
fair,  public  trials  to  those  charged  with  crimes.   Defendants 
have  the  right  to  private  or  court-appointed  counsel.   The 
judiciary  is  also  charged  under  the  Constitution  with  ensuring 
that  new  laws  are  consistent  with  democratic  practice. 

Commissions  of  inquiry  are  frequently  established  to  examine 
various  issues  of  social  or  political  concern.   The 
commissions,  routinely  chaired  by  distinguished  jurists, 
conduct  hearings,  subpoena  witnesses,  and  present  their 
findings  to  the  Government  for  corrective  action  when 
wrongdoing  has  been  discovered.   Commission  proceedings  are 
conducted  in  public  and  reported  fully  by  the  press.   The 
findings,  however,  are  conveyed  to  the  Government  in 
classified  reports  that  are  not  routinely  made  public  unless 
or  until  the  Government  decides  to  take  action  against  an 
accused  party.   The  Rault  Commission  on  Narcotics  played  a  key 
role  in  crystalizing  public  opinion  to  sustain  a  campaign 
against  narcotics  use  and  trafficking. 

The  Dangerous  Drugs  Act,  which  includes  a  mandatory  death 
sentence  for  any  person  convicted  of  importing  dangerous 
drugs,  has  been  controversial.   In  its  1987  Report,  Amnesty 
International  noted  that  "unlike  other  serious  offenses  under 
Mauritian  law,  which  are  tried  before  a  jury  of  nine  citizens, 
the  offense  of  importation  under  the  . . .  Act  is  heard  by  a 
judge  without  jury." 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  sanctity  of  the  home  is  ensured  by  law  and  generally 
respected  in  practice.   The  search  of  personal  property  or 
premises  is  allowed  only  under  clearly  specified  conditions  by 
court  order  or  by  police  decision  if  an  illegal  act  is 
suspected.   There  have  been  reports  from  reliable  sources  that, 


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MAURITIUS 

the  Government's  intelligence  apparatus  occasionally  opens 
mail  and  carries  out  surveillance  of  local  opposition  leaders 
and  other  major  figures. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Freedom  of  speech  and  press  is  protected  by  the  Constitution 
and  by  local  tradition.   Sixteen  privately  owned  daily, 
weekly,  and  monthly  newspapers  present  varying  political 
viewpoints  and  freely  express  partisan  views.   Newspapers  are 
subject  only  to  the  legal  constraints  of  libel  laws.   The 
Government  owns  the  one  television  and  two  radio  stations  (one 
strictly  educational),  broadcasting  in  five  languages.   The 
television  and  radio  are  reasonably  objective  in  news  and 
entertainment  presentation,  although  opposition  politicians 
occasionally  accuse  the  broadcasting  corporation  of  political 
bias  in  its  news  coverage.   Television  and  radio  broadcasts 
are  also  easily  received  from  the  nearby  island  of  Reunion  (a 
French  Department)  and  are  not  subject  to  interference  by  the 
Government.   However,  foreign  satellite  broadcasts  or  programs 
which  are  considered  "controversial"  are  subject  to  approval 
by  the  Cabinet  of  Ministers  before  transmission  on  local 
television  or  radio. 

In  October  1986,  the  Legislative  Assembly  amended  the 
Mauritian  Constitution  with  regard  to  drug  traffickers  and 
drug  trafficking  in  Mauritius.   The  legislation  increased  the 
powers  of  any  commission  of  inguiry  to  look  into  personal 
finances,  including  bank  accounts;  provided  for  fines  of 
persons  who  refuse  to  testify;  provided  for  fining  a  bank  and 
revoking  its  license  if  it  refuses  to  cooperate  in  a  financial 
investigation;  and  provided  for  the  seizure  of  all  assets  of 
convicted  drug  traffickers  who  cannot  prove  that  their  assets 
were  obtained  legally. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Mauritians  enjoy  the  right  to  form  associations,  including 
political  parties,  trade  unions,  and  religious  organizations. 
Mauritius  has  a  multitude  of  such  private  organizations. 
Political,  cultural,  and  religious  assemblies  are 
commonplace.   Although  police  permission  is  reguired  for 
holding  demonstrations  and  mass  meetings,  such  permission  is 
rarely  refused.   The  registered  political  parties  freely  held 
large  public  rallies  during  the  campaign  for  the  August 
general  elections. 

Mauritius  has  an  active  trade  union  movement.   Almost  300 
unions  represent  90,000  workers,  more  than  one-fourth  of  the 
work  force.   Unions  are  free  to  organize  workers  in  all 
sectors,  including  the  Export  Processing  Zone  (EPZ),  which 
employs  about  85,000  workers.   Unions  can  press  wage  demands, 
establish  ties  to  domestic  political  parties  and  international 
organizations,  and  address  political  issues.   Three  of  the 
five  trade  union  activists  who  ran  in  the  August  general 
elections  were  elected  to  the  Legislative  Assembly  on  the 
government  slate.   One  leading  federation  actively  supports 
the  opposition  party.   The  largest  confederation,  the 
Mauritian  Labor  Congress,  is  a  member  of  the  International 
Confederation  of  Free  Trade  Unions.   In  theory,  unions  have 
the  right  to  strike.   However,  in  labor  disputes  the  Industrial 


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Relations  Act  requires  a  prestrike,  21-day  cooling-off  period 
followed  by  binding  arbitration,  which  has  the  effect  of 
making  most  strikes  illegal. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

There  is  no  official  state  religion  in  Mauritius.   Hindus, 
Christians,  Muslims,  Buddhists,  and  others  openly  practice, 
teach,  and  proselytize  for  their  religions  without  prejudice. 
All  religious  institutions  receive  state  subsidies  in 
proportion  to  their  memberships.   There  is  no  state-sanctioned 
discrimination  against  any  ethnic  or  religious  community. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

There  are  no  restrictions  on  full  freedom  of  movement  within 
the  country.   Foreign  travel,  emigration,  and  repatriation  are 
also  unrestricted. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Mauritius  is  governed  by  a  freely  elected,  unicameral 
Legislative  Assembly,  with  executive  direction  coming  from  a 
Council  of  Ministers,  currently  headed  by  Prime  Minister 
Anerood  Jugnauth.   The  Governor  General  has  the  right  to 
designate  the  person  charged  with  forming  a  new  government 
following  parliamentary  elections  or  a  parliamentary  crisis. 
Parliamentary,  municipal,  and  village  council  elections  are 
held  at  regular  intervals.   Voting  and  running  for  office  are 
rights  of  all  citizens  18  years  of  age  and  over.   In  the 
Legislative  Assembly,  8  of  the  70  members  are  appointed 
through  a  complex  "best  loser"  system  designed  in  part  to 
ensure  that  all  ethnic  groups  are  adequately  represented.   The 
governing  coalition  consists  of  3  parties  and  controls  46  of 
the  70  seats.   Political  parties  often  match  the  ethnicity  or 
religion  of  their  candidates  to  the  composition  of  particular 
electoral  constituencies. 

In  the  August  parliamentary  elections,  89  percent  of  the 
553,364  eligible  voters  cast  ballots.   Only  9,512  votes 
separated  the  winning  and  losing  coalitions. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

There  have  been  no  known  requests  by  international 
organizations  to  investigate  human  rights  violations  in 
Mauritius.   Amnesty  International  maintains  two  branches  in 
Mauritius.   There  are  several  local  human  rights  groups  which 
address  the  internal  situation  in  Mauritius  without 
governmental  intrusion. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

While  there  is  no  evidence  of  official  discrimination  against 
any  ethnic  or  religious  group,  there  have  been  allegations 
that  certain  groups,  including  Muslims,  are  under  represented 
in  the  civil  service. 

Women  in  Mauritius  participate  in  all  types  of  political, 
business,  and  social  activities,  and  a  few  hold  important 


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positions.   Nonetheless,  traditional  ethnic  and  religious 
attitudes  prevent  women  from  achieving  true  parity.   For 
example,  only  5  of  70  Members  of  Parliament  and  1  of  19 
Ministers  are  women.   The  Government  seeks  to  improve  the 
status  of  women,  and  recent  amendments  to  laws  ranging  from 
emigration  to  inheritance  have  removed  sex  discriminatory 
sections.   An  interministerial  committee,  headed  by  the  one 
female  Minister,  has  been  active  since  1985  in  addressing 
remaining  discriminatory  elements  in  local  laws  and 
practices.   Nevertheless,  discriminatory  laws  and  regulations 
remain,  including  prohibition  against  women  serving  on  juries. 

Moreover,  the  illiteracy  rate  for  women  (20  percent  in  1983) 
is  about  twice  that  of  men.   While  women  are  highly  sought  for 
employment  in  manufacturing  plants,  they  tend  to  occupy  the 
less  skilled  and  lower  paid  positions  and  are  particularly 
susceptible  to  layoffs  during  economic  downturns.   The  average 
industrial  salary  for  women  is  about  50  percent  that  of  men. 
The  Minister  for  Labor  and  Industrial  Relations,  Women's 
Rights,  and  Family  Welfare  has  indicated,  however,  that  middle 
managem.ent  training  for  women  is  one  of  her  ministry's 
priorities . 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Conditions  of  employment  in  Mauritius,  including  wage  and 
leave  conditions,  are  generally  sufficient  to  provide  an 
acceptable  standard  of  living  to  workers  in  the  agricultural, 
service,  and  manufacturing  sectors.   Government,  private 
welfare  groups,  and  labor  unions  serve  as  watchdogs  on 
potential  employer  abuses. 

A  maximum  workweek  of  45  hours  is  allowed,  and  children  below 
the  age  of  14  cannot  be  legally  employed,  although  scattered 
cases  of  child  labor  have  been  reported.   The  Government 
mandates  minimum  wage  increases  each  year  based  on  inflation. 
The  current  minimum  wage  for  unskilled  labor  in  the  Export 
Processing  Zone  is  $9  per  week  during  the  first  year  and  $11 
per  week  thereafter. 

In  1987,  effective  July  1,  the  Government  awarded  a  wage 
increase  (12-60  percent)  in  the  public  service.   Salary 
increases  (10-15  percent)  were  also  approved  for  the  private 
sector,  including  the  sugar  industry  and  the  EPZ .   At  the  same 
time,  the  Government  addressed  the  issue  of  overtime  work  in 
the  EPZ  due  to  complaints  that  EPZ  employers  imposed  long 
hours  of  overtime  on  employees--about  10  to  20  hours  per  week, 
making  for  a  55-  to  65-hour  workweek.   The  revised  remuneration 
orders  of  July  1  stipulated  that  no  employee  would  be  required 
to  perform  extra  hours  of  work  in  excess  of  10  hours  per  week, 
except  with  his  or  her  consent.   In  addition,  new  remuneration 
rates  for  overtime  above  the  regular  45-hour  week  were 
introduced  as  follows:   (I)  for  the  first  10  hours  at  one  and 
a  half  times  the  basic  rate  per  hour,  (II)  for  the  next  5 
hours  at  twice  the  basic  rate  per  hour,  and  (III)  thereafter 
at  three  times  the  basic  rate  per  hour.   In  addition  to  wages, 
the  Government  also  increased  the  social  benefits  to  various 
groups,  including  old  age  pensioners,  unemployed,  widows  and 
orphans,  and  handicapped  people. 


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Mozambique  gained  independence  from  Portugal  in  1975  following 
a  decade  of  guerrilla  warfare.   The  Front  for  the  Liberation 
of  Mozambique  (FRELIMO) ,  the  only  party  allowed,  is  the  key 
decisionmaking  organ  and  articulates  government  policies. 
Joaquim  Chissano  completed  his  first  full  year  as  President  of 
Mozambique  and  Chairman  of  FRELIMO,  following  his  predecessor's 
death  in  an  airplane  crash  in  October  1986.   The  Council  of 
Ministers  is  responsible  for  the  day-to-day  operations  of  the 
Government.   A  self-proclaimed  nonaligned,  nationalist,  and 
Marxist-Leninist  party,  FRELIMO's  approach  has  been 
increasingly  pragmatic,  aimed  at  dealing  with  the  economic  and 
political  realities  of  catastrophic  drought  and  growing  civil 
conflict,  which  together  have  uprooted  millions  of  people, 
destroyed  much  of  the  economic  and  social  infrastructure,  and 
caused  widespread  civilian  casualties. 

The  security  forces  include  the  military,  the  People's  Forces 
for  the  Liberation  of  Mozambique  (FPLM) ,  numbering  about 
30,000  soldiers,  a  People's  Militia,  and  the  Mozambican 
National  Security  Service  (SNASP) .   Since  the  late  1970's  the 
Mozambican  National  Resistance  (RENAMO)  has  waged  a  guerrilla 
war  against  the  Government,  resulting  in  the  death  of  thousands 
of  civilians.   RENAMO's  strength  is  estimated  at  15,000  to 
20,000  persons,  and  RENAMO  is  active  in  Mozambique's  10 
provinces.   Originally  the  creation  of  the  Rhodesian 
Intelligence  Service,  it  now  reportedly  receives  support  from 
South  Africa.   In  1987  the  Government  appointed  new  FPLM 
leadership  and  sought  additional  military  assistance  from  the 
international  community.   Among  the  outside  participants,  the 
Soviet  Union  and  its  allies,  the  United  Kingdom,  Italy,  and 
Portugal  provide  military  training  and  assistance  to 
Mozambique,  while  Zimbabwe  has  a  large  military  presence, 
ranging  from  5,000  to  8,000  troops.   In  addition,  Tanzania  has 
about  2,500  troops  and  Malawi  600  to  1,000  soldiers  in 
Mozambique.   In  September  1987,  Mozambique  and  South  Africa 
resumed  discussions  aimed  at  reviving  the  1984  Nkomati  accord, 
which  committed  them  to  cease  hostile  acts  against  each  other 
and  to  search  for  ways  to  increase  economic  cooperation. 

President  Chissano's  Government  pressed  forward  in  1987  with 
economic  reforms,  including  rescheduling  its  $3.2  billion 
debt,  drastically  devaluing  its  currency,  encouraging  the 
private  sector,  and  seeking  foreign  assistance.   In  January 
the  Government  signed  agreements  with  the  International 
Monetary  Fund  and  World  Bank.   At  the  end  of  1987,  a  major 
international  relief  effort  was  underway  to  help  avert  the 
danger  of  famine  for  4  to  5  million  people. 

The  Government  in  1987  took  steps  to  improve  military  justice 
and  to  allow  increased  religious  freedom.  In  addition,  the 
People's  Assembly  enacted  legislation  extending  amnesty  to 
insurgents  v;ho  seek  reintegration  into  society  and  reducing 
sentences  for  those  convicted  under  security  laws.   However, 
the  overall  human  rights  situation  in  the  country  deteriorated 
due  mainly  to  the  conflict.   Both  Mozambican  security  forces 
and  RENAMO  reportedly  committed  serious  abuses  against 
civilians.   However,  the  line  between  violence  perpetrated  by 
RENAMO,  undisciplined  government  forces,  and  renegade  elements 
without  political  affiliation  was  sometimes  not  clear.   By  the 
end  of  1987,  over  2  million  Mozambicans  of  a  population  of  14 
million  had  fled  to  more  secure  areas  in  the  country  or  to 
neighboring  countries.   The  increased  toll  on  civilians  was 
dramatically  evident  in  a  series  of  massacres  in  the  second 


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MOZAMBIQUE 

half  of  1987  commencing  with  the  killing  of  a  reported  424 
inhabitants  of  Homoine  in  Inhambane  Province  on  July  18. 
Although  no  group  claimed  responsibility,  circumstantial 
evidence  and  the  credible  reports  of  eyewitness  observers 
indicated  that  these  actions  probably  were  perpetrated  by 
RENAMO  insurgents. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

The  continuing  war  between  the  Government  and  RENAMO  has  led 
to  the  death  of  many  Mozambicans.   Precise  figures  are 
unavailable,  and  the  two  sides  exaggerate  accusations  against 
each  other,  but  the  total  number  of  fatalities  over  the  past 
few  years  is  certainly  in  the  thousands.   There  were  no 
reliable  reports  of  politically  motivated  killings  in  1987 
other  than  those  attributable  to  the  conflict  between  the 
Government  and  RENAMO.   There  were  no  reports  of  public 
executions . 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  confirmed  reports  of  government-perpetrated 
disappearances  in  1987.   The  Government's  commitment  to  the 
prompt  notification  of  relatives  and  friends  of  detained 
persons  remained  suspect,  however,  and  it  was  often  impossible 
to  know  whether  a  person  had  disappeared  or  was  in  detention. 
Security  forces,  operating  under  security  legislation, 
sometimes  held  detainees  incommunicado  for  extended  periods, 
despite  the  fact  that  detainees  have  the  legal  right  to  contact 
their  relatives  and  to  receive  visitors.   The  Government  has 
remained  largely  unresponsive  to  international  inquiries  about 
the  welfare  of  detained  persons. 

According  to  reliable  eyewitness  reports,  RENAMO  continued  to 
abduct  large  numbers  of  rural  villagers.   Some  of  the  victims 
were  released  after  being  required  to  transport  captured 
materials  for  long  distances  or  to  perform  other  tasks. 
Others  were  held  in  rural  areas  outside  of  formal  government 
control.   RENAMO  also  continued  kidnaping  foreigners  in  1987. 
Six  expatriates  taken  by  RENAMO  in  December  1986  and  January 
1987  were  held  until  April  1987.   Seven  expatriates,  including 
one  American  citizen,  were  held  captive  from  May  13  until  their 
release  at  the  Malawi  border  on  August  18.   RENAMO  acknowledged 
in  June  1987  that  it  was  holding  a  Portuguese  citizen  and  his 
family  and  one  other  foreigner.   They  are  still  believed  to  be 
in  RENAMO" s  hands,  as  is  a  British  citizen  captured  by  RENAMO 
in  July  1987. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

In  the  early  years  after  independence,  political  prisoners  at 
remote  government-organized  "reeducation  camps"  were  brutally 
bound,  beaten,  and  often  killed.   These  camps  were  used  to 
intern  political  prisoners  and  "antisocial  elements."   While 
the  Government  has  publicly  referred  to  one  model 
"rehabilitation  center"  in  Inhambane  Province,  it  has  claimed 
that  all  except  one  of  the  former  reeducation  camps  have  been 
closed.   Precise  information  on  the  location  and  nature  of  any 
reeducation  or  rehabilitation  camps  which  may  exist  is  not 
aval lable . 


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In  1987  the  Government  launched  several  campaigns  to  improve 
discipline  and  effectiveness  within  the  armed  forces,  militia, 
and  police.   Government  officials,  including  President 
Chissano,  have  publicly  stressed  that  the  security  forces  must 
protect  and  respect  citizens.   A  major  reorganization  of  the 
military  high  command  was  ordered  in  June,  and  the  military 
justice  system  is  being  reformed.   The  government-influenced 
media  have  publicized  abuses  by  police  and  security  forces, 
and  some  responsible  officials  have  been  disciplined.   For 
example,  local  officials  and  an  FPLM  political  commissioner  in 
Sofala  province  were  convicted  and  sentenced  for  ordering  the 
execution  of  two  citizens  suspected  of  witchcraft.   In  another 
instance,  three  militiamen  were  given  prison  terms  varying 
from  4  to  8  years  for  abuse  of  power  in  abduction-rape  cases. 

As  a  result  of  these  steps,  most  observers  believe  there  were 
fewer  instances  of  torture  in  1987.   Nevertheless,  there 
continued  to  be  reports  of  capricious  and  cruel  treatment  by 
some  members  of  the  security  and  defense  forces.   In  addition, 
the  Government  continued  the  practice  of  flogging  (for  example, 
as  punishment  for  economic  crimes),  particularly  in  rural  areas 
where  incarceration  is  difficult.   Ministry  of  Justice 
officials  have  publicly  condemned  excessive  and  illegal 
floggings . 

RENAMO  reportedly  has  tortured,  maimed,  and  mistreated  both 
military  prisoners  and  civilians.   Numerous  eyewitnesses  have 
confirmed  these  reports,  referring  to  RENAMO  mutilations  of 
civilians  believed  to  sympathize  with  the  Government  by  cutting 
off  noses,  ears,  and  lips.   Thousands  of  Mozambicans,  including 
children,  are  reported  to  have  undergone  such  disfigurement. 
In  some  instances,  abducted  villagers  have  reportedly  been 
compelled  to  watch  as  civilians  who  attempted  to  escape  or  who 
had  otherwise  offended  against  the  harsh  regime  in  RENAMO 
camps  were  slowly  hacked  to  death  with  machetes. 

Prisons  in  Mozambique  are  generally  marked  by  inadequate  food, 
hygiene,  and  medical  care.   The  Government  has  sought  foreign 
and  local  assistance  to  improve  prison  conditions.   The 
Mozambican  Red  Cross  is  now  assisting  the  Government  to 
improve  prison  conditions. 

In  general,  there  is  no  information  about  the  Government's 
treatment  of  RENAMO  prisoners,  but  Amnesty  International's 
1987  Report  noted  that  in  1986  some  RENAMO  prisoners  were 
known  to  be  in  the  custody  of  SNASP,  living  in  harsh  conditions 
and  with  insufficient  water  and  exercise.   Reportedly,  there 
are  several  reeducation  centers  for  selected  RENAMO  prisoners, 
including  a  prison  in  Inhambane  where  they  receive  training  in 
various  skills  to  prepare  them  for  "reintegration"  into 
society.   The  length  of  detention  of  such  prisoners  may  be 
indefinite. 

d.   Arbitrary  Arrest  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Since  1979  two  separate  legal  systems  have  existed.   One  is 
the  regular  civil/criminal  system  composed  of  the  judiciary 
(courts)  and  a  police  force  under  the  authority  of  the 
Ministry  of  Interior.   The  other,  characterized  as 
transitional,  is  the  military-run  state  security  system  which 
incorporates  the  Ministry  of  National  Security  (SNASP) .   The 
latter  system,  established  to  deal  with  the  growing  armed 
insurgency,  has  jurisdiction  over  both  political  and  economic 
(sabotage)  crimes  against  the  State.   These  two  systems 
operate  separately  and  are  subject  to  separate  controls. 


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Under  the  state  security  system,  all  investigations  and 
arrests  are  carried  out  by  SNASP.   Detainees  may  be  held 
indefinitely,  often  incommunicado,  without  formal  charges. 
They  do  not  have  the  right  to  challenge  the  legality  of  their 
detention.   SNASP  has  the  power  to  conduct  pretrial  inquiries 
without  reference  to  a  judge.   Amnesty  International  has 
recommended  that  SNASP' s  power  to  detain  persons  be  drastically 
reduced  because  such  unlimited  authority  invites  abuse. 

There  are  no  reliable  estimates  of  the  numbers  of  persons 
detained  for  political  reasons.   Amnesty  International 
estimated  that  there  were  approximately  4,000  to  5,000  RENAMO 
detainees,  a  figure  the  Government  publicly  acknowledged. 
Neither  the  Government  nor  RENAMO  have  agreed  to  allow  the 
International  Committee  of  the  Red  Cross  (ICRC)  to  visit 
detainees . 

Under  the  regular  civil/criminal  court  system,  persons  accused 
of  the  most  serious  crimes  can  be  detained  up  to  84  days 
without  investigation.   With  court  approval,  such  detainees 
can  then  be  held  for  two  additional  periods  of  84  days  while 
the  police  complete  their  investigation.   While  being  detained, 
individuals  have  the  right  to  counsel  and  to  contact  relatives 
or  friends.   In  some  cases,  detainees  may  be  released  from 
prison  while  the  investigation  proceeds,  but  the  bail  system 
in  Mozambique  remains  ill-defined.   The  law  stipulates  that  if 
the  prescribed  period  for  investigation  has  been  completed  and 
no  charges  have  been  brought,  the  detainee  must  be  released. 
In  practice,  these  procedures  are  not  always  followed,  and 
legal  counsel  is  frequently  not  available.   However,  the 
Government  is  making  efforts  to  improve  the  administration  of 
justice  and  due  process;  in  1987  it  began  training  25  public 
defenders  to  handle  cases  before  the  Mozambican  courts. 

In  1985  as  part  of  the  "offensive  for  legality,"  the 
Government  set  up  a  judicial  inspectorate  to  help  supervise 
the  administration  of  courts  and  prisons.   During  1987  the 
Ministry  of  Justice  continued  its  effort  to  ensure  that 
detainees  held  by  police  were  afforded  access  to  government- 
provided  legal  assistance.   The  Ministry  of  Justice  also 
launched  programs  to  publicize  basic  laws  and  rights  of 
defendants,  families,  and  children  and  to  conduct  seminars  on 
human  rights  throughout  the  country. 

During  1987  there  were  no  reports  of  anyone  being  exiled  from 
Mozambique  (see  also  Section  2.d.).   As  far  as  is  known, 
compulsory  labor  is  not  practiced  by  the  Government.   RENAMO 
reportedly  makes  extensive  use  of  captive  labor  to  carry 
supplies  and  to  perform  other  support  functions. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  modern  judicial  system  is  based  on  Portuguese  civil  law. 
There  are  a  series  of  People's  Courts  at  the  district  and 
provincial  levels,  and  a  Superior  Court  of  Appeals  in  Maputo. 
Nonpolitical  trials  conducted  by  the  regular  civil/criminal 
court  system  are  generally  fair  and  are  held  in  public. 

At  the  local  level,  there  are  also  customary  courts.   Trials 
are  often  conducted  in  a  public  place  in  the  village  where  the 
crime  was  allegedly  committed  in  order  to  encourage  public 
attendance  and  participation.   The  proceedings  are  conducted 
by  a  trained  representative  of  the  Ministry  of  Justice, 
assisted  by  two  or  four  popularly  elected  "judges."   Since  the 
legal  knowledge  of  those  involved  is  limited,  they  are 


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instructed  to  exercise  common  sense  and  to  apply  locally 
accepted  principles. 

These  traditional  or  customary  courts  can  handle  only  minor 
offenses;  more  serious  crimes  are  tried  in  the  people's  courts 
at  the  district  and  provincial  levels.   District  and 
provincial  trials  are  also  open  to  the  public.   In  certain 
cases,  such  as  rape,  the  defendant  can  request  a  closed 
trial.   Persons  convicted  of  a  serious  crime  have  the 
automatic  right  of  appeal  to  the  next  higher  court. 
Inspections  of  the  judiciary  process  in  several  provinces 
during  1987  were  reported  by  the  media,  and  efforts  were  made 
to  give  defendants  speedier  access  to  trial. 

Prisoners  charged  with  crimes  against  the  State  are  tried  by 
the  Revolutionary  Military  Tribunal  and  are  denied  most  due 
process  rights.   Trials  are  held  in  camera,  and  there  is  no 
appeal.   Defendants  are  generally  not  informed  of  the  precise 
charges  against  them  and  are  not  permitted  to  call  witnesses 
for  their  defense.   In  1987  the  People's  Assembly  approved  the 
country's  first  military  crimes  law  and  a  military  tribunal 
law.   The  military  crimes  law  will  take  force  in  July  1988  to 
allow  time  for  organization  of  the  military  tribunals.   The 
military  crimes  law  can  be  applied  to  military  personnel  and 
civilians  alike.   It  defines  a  military  crime  as  "any  socially 
dangerous  action  or  omission  which  affects  military  ethics  and 
discipline,  or  that  endangers,  prejudices,  or  disturbs  combat 
capacity  or  military  security,  and  which  is  covered  in 
existing  military  law."   Penalties  range  from  30  days' 
imprisonment  to  death. 

In  1987  the  People's  Assembly  passed  legislation  authorizing 
pardons  and  amnesty  for  about  1,500  convicts,  and  the  media 
carried  stories  regarding  the  release  of  some  of  these 
persons.   In  March  the  media  reported  that  380  prisoners  were 
granted  clemency  in  Sofala  province  and  40  in  Inhambane 
province.   In  December  1987,  President  Chissano  proposed,  and 
the  People's  Assembly  approved,  two  important  laws  on  amnesty 
and  pardon.   The  first  gives  amnesty  to  insurgents  who  turn 
themselves  in  to  local  authorities  and  seek  reintegration  into 
society.   The  second  shortens  the  sentences  of  persons 
convicted  of  crimes  under  the  1979  security  legislation. 
Government  officials  have  said  that  in  connection  with  these 
two  new  laws,  efforts  would  be  made  to  speed  the  processing  of 
persons  who  have  been  held  for  extended  periods  without  being 
tried.   The  pardon  law  specifically  states  that  time  spent  in 
detention  prior  to  trial  will  count  toward  sentence  reduction 
if  the  detainee  is  eventually  convicted  of  a  crime. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  party  apparatus  is  used  to  monitor  daily  life.   In  areas 
of  active  insurgency,  homes  are  entered  at  will  by  security  or 
police  forces.   It  is  widely  assumed  that  surveillance  devices 
are  employed  to  monitor  the  local  and  international 
telecommunications  systems.   There  have  also  been  reports  of 
tampering  with  mail,  especially  mail  from  abroad.   Regular 
foreign  broadcasts  are  received  without  interference,  and 
there  is  no  restriction  on  listening  to  them.   The  Governmenc 
does  not  generally  interfere  with  family  affairs  such  as 
marriage  or  the  rearing  of  children. 


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g.   Violations  of  Humanitarian  Law  in  Armed  Conflicts 

Both  government  forces  and  RENAMO  have  been  responsible  for 
the  death  of  civilians  in  the  course  of  the  conflict  between 
them.   Strong  circumstantial  evidence  suggests  that  RENAMO  was 
responsible  for  a  series  of  massacres  of  civilians  in  southern 
Mozambique  and  the  eastern  fringes  of  Zimbabwe  during  the 
second  half  of  1987.   The  most  brutal  attack  occurred  on  July 
18  at  Homoine  in  Inhambane  Province,  in  which  424  civilians 
were  killed,  according  to  the  Government.   An  American 
eyewitness  saw  the  attackers  shoot  and  kill  a  group  of  women 
and  children  and  reported  that  other  victims  had  been  killed 
with  machetes  and  bayonets.   Similar  attacks  occurred  in 
Manjacaze  on  August  10  in  Gaza  Province  in  which  the 
Government  said  93  civilians  were  killed;  at  a  Methodist 
mission  station  in  Cambine,  where  church  sources  report  15 
were  killed;  and  Michafutene  in  Maputo  Province,  where  the 
Government  said  27  persons  were  killed.   Expatriate  missionary 
personnel  working  in  these  areas  stated  that  other  attacks  of 
this  sort  occurred  in  Gaza  and  Inhambane  provinces.   In 
addition,  the  Government  stated  that  more  than  300  persons 
were  killed  in  two  separate  attacks  on  convoys  near  Taninga  in 
Maputo  province  in  October  1987.   Foreign  diplomats  who 
visited  the  site  shortly  after  the  second  attack  saw  more  than 
90  burned  out  vehicles,  including  trucks  carrying  food  aid, 
and  passengers'  belongings  strewn  along  the  highway.   RENAMO 
spokesmen  acknowledged  carrying  out  attacks  in  southern 
Mozambique  but  denied  attacking  civilians. 

On  November  5,  the  Government  appealed  to  the  international 
community  for  assistance  in  treating  30  children  (ages  5  to 
16)  whom  it  said  it  had  brought  to  Maputo  from  RENAMO  camps 
destroyed  by  government  forces.   The  children  had  reportedly 
been  abducted  by  RENAMO  and  trained  to  participate  in  its 
attacks.   Several  children  had  been  mutilated. 

The  Government  publicly  rejects  negotiations  and  continues 
aggressive  efforts  to  combat  RENAMO.   There  have  been 
unconfirmed  reports  that  errant  Mozambican  troops  and  militia 
rob  vehicles  on  highways  and  sometimes  kill  passengers  to 
prevent  identification.   Civilian  casualties  may  have  occurred 
during  large-scale  operations  by  government  troops  in  the 
central  provinces,  which  sometimes  included  bombing  raids. 
RENAMO  claimed  that  50  civilians  were  killed  during  a  bombing 
raid  by  Zimbabwean  forces  in  Sofala  province  in  December. 
Amnesty  International  has  received  reports  of  killings  and 
mutilations  of  captives  by  both  government  and  opposition 
forces.   The  Catholic  bishops  of  Mozambique  publicly  decried 
the  violence  perpetrated  against  the  civilian  population  by 
both  sides  and  called  for  dialog  and  national  reconciliation. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Freedoms  of  speech  and  press  are  circumscribed.   However,  in 
1987  the  Government  exhibited  greater  tolerance  for  public 
criticism  of  government  policies  and  officials.   The  President 
held  a  series  of  "town  meetings"  in  half  of  the  country's 
provinces  in  early  1987.   He  heard  numerous  criticisms  of 
officials  and  official  policies  at  each  stop.   Subsequently, 
he  announced  that  ombudsmen  offices  would  be  established  in 
the  provinces  for  citizens  to  register  their  complaints 
without  fear  of  retribution.   Offices  have  already  been 
established  in  at  least  two  provinces. 


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The  Government  exerts  control,  either  directly  or  indirectly, 
over  all  authorized  media  in  the  country,  ranging  from  the 
radio  and  experimental  television  facilities  to  the  nominally 
independent  daily  Noticias.   Some  foreign  publications, 
including  independent  Western  newsmagazines,  are  available  in 
bookstores.   The  Mozambican  media  promote  the  Government's 
general  philosophy  and  its  positions  on  issues.   There  is, 
however,  controlled  reporting  on  abuses  within  the  system  or 
flaws  in  the  implementation  of  government  policies  in  those 
areas  where  the  Government  has  admitted  to  errors  or  wishes  to 
initiate  changes.   For  example,  in  Nampula  province,  the 
Government  established  a  commission  of  inquiry  to  investigate 
allegations  of  local  reports  of  torture  which  first  appeared 
in  Noticias.   Magazines  and  newspapers  frequently  contain 
articles  or  letters  to  the  editor  complaining  about  the  lack 
of  goods  or  social  services  or  the  ineffectiveness  of  a 
particular  official. 

Western  journalists  (including  Americans)  are  welcome  in 
Mozambique,  and  the  Government  generally  works  to  make  their 
visits  productive. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Political  opposition  to  the  Government  is  not  permitted. 
Public  meetings  other  than  purely  social  or  recreational 
gatherings  are  controlled  by  the  local  authorities.   The 
Government  has  organized  several  "mass  movements"  for  groups 
such  as  women,  youth,  and  workers  and  utilizes  them  to 
motivate  and  to  receive  feedback  from  the  general  population. 
There  are  also  several  professional  associations,  such  as  the 
Mozambican  Writers'  Organization,  which  are  linked  to  the 
party.   Although  membership  in  these  organizations  is 
theoretically  voluntary,  the  party  occasionally  exerts 
pressure  to  join. 

The  formation  of  independent  labor  unions  is  not  permitted, 
and  strikes  are  forbidden.   In  1983  the  Government  established 
the  Mozambique  Workers*  Organization  which  was  intended  to 
function  as  a  national  labor  union  under  party  guidance.   The 
Organization  has  little  influence  on  economic  policy  or 
politics,  but  the  number  of  party-controlled  unions  under  this 
umbrella  organization  was  expanded  during  1987.   There  were  a 
number  of  exchanges  of  delegations  in  the  labor  field  with 
other  countries,  most  often  with  Eastern  European  countries, 
but  occasionally  with  Western  nations. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

The  Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of  religion  and 
separation  of  church  and  state.   In  the  past,  the  Government 
restricted  religious  activities,  reserving  the  right  to  decide 
whether  individual  church  buildings  could  be  utilized,  and  it 
nationalized  church  schools  and  hospitals.   However,  the 
improvement  in  church/state  relations,  which  began  several 
years  ago,  continued  in  1987,  and  organized  religions 
generally  operated  without  official  harassment.   A  number  of 
religious  delegations  visited  Mozambique  during  the  year,  and 
the  Government  and  the  Vatican  discussed  further  means  of 
improving  relations  between  church  and  state.   Also  in  1987, 
2,000  Jehovah's  Witnesses  who  had  been  deported  or  exiled  by 
the  Government  in  1976  were  allowed  to  return  home.   A  pastoral 
letter  issued  by  the  Catholic  bishops  in  May  calling  for  dialog 
and  national  reconciliation  to  end  the  conflict  was  attacked 
in  the  government-influenced  media,  but  the  Government  did  not 


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block  the  reading  of  the  letter  from  pulpits  or  its 
circulation.   The  government-influenced  media  have  publicized 
various  aspects  of  Protestant,  Catholic,  and  Muslim 
humanitarian  relief  efforts. 

Although  the  Government  reserves  the  right  to  decide  whether 
individual  clergy  can  visit  outlying  areas,  it  usually  allows 
such  travel  in  connection  with  pastoral  duties.   Most  churches 
have  been  allowed  to  reopen,  and  services  are  well  attended. 
The  Muslim  community  has  established  a  national  organization, 
resumed  religious  training,  reopened  mosques,  and  sent  groups 
on  pilgrimages  to  Mecca.   Party  members  are  not  formally 
prohibited  from  membership  in  a  church  or  mosque,  although 
such  membership  is  discouraged. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Travel  and  relocation  within  the  country  are  controlled  by 
security  and  employment  requirements  under  the  rationale  of 
assuring  public  and  social  order.   Ambushes  by  insurgents  make 
road  travel  hazardous  throughout  the  country.   Mozambicans 
planning  to  travel  outside  their  district  must  obtain  a  travel 
permit  from  local  government  authorities.   In  practice,  this 
system  is  not  always  enforced,  especially  with  regard  to 
travel  within  the  general  vicinity  of  one's  residence. 

Mozambican  law  does  not  address  the  issue  of  emigration,  but 
in  practice  Mozambicans  can  emigrate  if  they  wish.   In  recent 
years,  over  2  million  persons  have  been  dislocated  within 
Mozambique,  and  more  than  750,000  persons  have  fled  across 
borders  to  neighboring  countries  as  refugees  or  displaced 
persons  due  to  the  intensification  of  the  conflict  and 
famine.   The  Government  cooperates  with  the  United  Nations 
High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  and  is  committed  to  resettling 
these  refugees  when  security  conditions  permit  their 
repatriation.   The  Government  has  publicly  and  privately  made 
clear  its  opposition  to  forced  repatriation,  but  in  June  some 
9,000  Mozambicans  were  forcibly  repatriated  from  Zimbabwe  at 
the  unilateral  initiative  of  the  Government  of  Zimbabwe. 
Moreover,  it  is  not  clear,  because  of  security  conditions, 
that  repatriates  would  be  free  to  return  to  their  home  areas. 

Since  1981  the  Government  has  had  a  policy  of  welcoming  back 
Mozambicans  who  left  the  country,  and  President  Chissano 
specifically  invited  Mozambicans  who  have  been  living  abroad 
for  economic  or  political  reasons  to  return.   In  the  past, 
some  Mozambicans  who  had  opposed  the  party  before  independence 
were  jailed  upon  their  return  to  Mozambique.   Such  imprisonment 
remains  a  possibility,  but  Mozambicans  who  since  1986  have 
accepted  the  Government's  invitation  to  return  apparently  have 
not  suffered  harassment  or  retribution.   Supporters  of  the 
insurgency  or  outspoken  critics  of  the  Government  generally 
have  opted  not  to  return  to  Mozambique. 

A  1982  law  allowed  for  the  reacquisition  of  citizenship  by 
Mozambicans  who  left  the  country  and  assumed  another 
nationality.   In  December  the  People's  Assembly  enacted  a 
nationality  law  restoring  Mozambican  citizenship  to  women  who 
lost  it  through  marriage  to  foreigners. 

Since  independence,  the  Government  readily  provided  asylum  to 
refugees  from  neighboring  countries.   Because  of  the  difficult 
conditions  within  Mozambique,  there  were  only  an  estimated  500 
refugees  in  the  country  at  the  end  of  1987.   Most  refugees  in 


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Mozambique  are  from  South  Africa  and  Chile.   Since  signing  the 
Nkomati  Accord  in  1984,  the  Government  has  restricted  entry  of 
members  and  supporters  of  the  African  National  Congress. 
Despite  poor  economic  conditions  and  civil  war,  the  Government 
continues  to  assist  refugees  by  providing  land,  housing,  relief 
assistance,  social  services  and,  in  some  cases,  employment. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Citizens  are  not  free  to  change  their  Government:   no  organized 
political  opposition  is  allowed.   The  FRELIMO  party  and  the 
Government  are  controlled  by  a  small  cadre  of  senior  officials 
in  the  Politburo,  but  there  is  scope  for  political 
participation  for  those  who  are  not  party  members.   Some 
government  ministers  are  not  members  of  the  party.   The 
legislature,  the  People's  Assembly,  serves  to  ratify 
legislation  prepared  by  the  government  party.   Its  votes 
usually  are  unanimous.   However,  the  Assembly  held  spirited 
discussions  in  1987  and  revised  several  reports  presented  to 
the  second  session.   The  Assembly  normally  convenes  twice  a 
year  for  1-week  sessions.   The  Constitution  is  being  revised 
under  party  and  government  supervision,  reportedly  with  the 
objective  of  increasing  political  participation  within  the 
one-party  structure. 

The  party  and  Government  espouse  a  system  of  "people's 
democracy"  whereby  decisions  theoretically  are  made  by 
consensus:   in  practice,  this  means  that  policies  and 
initiatives  emanate  from  above.   The  electoral  process  is 
closely  controlled  by  the  party.   The  first  national  elections 
since  1977  for  People's  Assemblies  at  the  local,  district, 
provincial,  and  national  levels  were  held  in  1986.   The  party 
drew  up  single  slates  of  candidates  for  the  elections,  and 
party  structures  reviewed  these  slates  with  the  local 
population  prior  to  the  election.   Voters  had  some  degree  of 
choice  since  there  were,  by  law,  20  percent  more  candidates 
than  seats  available  in  the  various  assemblies.   Some  members 
of  the  provincial  and  district  People's  Assemblies  are  not 
party  members,  and  at  least  15  members  of  the  national 
People's  Assembly  do  not  belong  to  the  party. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government's  attitude  regarding  such  outside  investigation 
has  been  mixed.   The  Government  has  discussed  the  status  of 
RENAMO  prisoners  with  international  relief  organizations, 
including  the  ICRC,  but  it  does  not  permit,  as  yet,  ICRC 
access  to  political  detainees.   RENAMO  categorically  refuses 
to  allow  ICRC  visitations  to  prisoners.   The  Government  did 
not  respond  to  inquiries  and  recommendations  by  Amnesty 
International  to  strengthen  controls  against  torture  and  to 
limit  the  right  of  security  forces  to  hold  detainees  for 
unlimited  periods  without  charge.   In  some  cases,  however,  the 
Government  has  responded  to  inquiries  on  specific  detainees' 
cases,  and  it  has  reportedly  responded  positively  to  some 
allegations  of  torture  by  establishing  a  provincial  commission 
of  inquiry  and  dismissing  a  military  officer. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

In  spite  of  the  strains  imposed  by  the  conflict  and  the 
economic  collapse,  racial  harmony  remains  a  hallmark  of 


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MOZAMBIQUE 


Mozambican  society.   While  the  majority  of  the  FRELIMO 
leadership  are  members  of  the  southern-based  Shangaan  tribe, 
within  the  black  population  of  Mozambique  the  individual 
ethnic  groups  are  treated  fairly  by  the  Government.   RENAMO 
has  sought  to  obtain  support  by  exploiting  historically  based 
intertribal  antipathies,  especially  in  the  central  and 
northern  part  of  the  country.   As  a  result  of  the  greater 
educational  opportunities  which  were  available  to  ethnic 
Asians  and  whites  prior  to  independence,  they  hold  important 
positions  in  numbers  much  greater  than  their  proportion  of  the 
general  population. 

Women  have,  in  theory,  equal  rights  under  Mozambique's 
Constitution,  and,  with  government  support,  are  increasingly 
prominent  in  government  positions,  particularly  at  the  working 
levels.   The  Government  is  continuing  efforts  to  improve  the 
legal  status  of  women.   For  example,  a  main  purpose  of  the 
nationality  law  passed  by  the  People's  Assembly  in  December 
1987  was  to  give  women  equal  rights  in  this  important  area,  by 
allowing  women  who  marry  foreigners,  and  their  children,  to 
retain  Mozambican  nationality.   The  Organization  of  Mozambican 
Women  is  the  party's  mass  organization  that  aims  to  assist 
women  as,  for  example,  in  helping  to  establish  day-care 
centers.   However,  in  a  largely  rural  society,  the  reality  is 
that  the  vast  majority  of  women  are  still  bound  to  traditional 
roles,  such  as  childbearing  and  tilling  the  fields. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Most  of  the  population  is  engaged  in  subsistence  agriculture 
and  is  outside  much  of  the  wage  economy  and  government 
regulations  concerning  working  conditions.   In  the  small 
modern  sector,  the  Government  has  enacted  health  and 
environmental  laws  to  protect  workers.   On  occasion,  the 
Government  has  closed  down  firms  for  noncompliance  of  these 
laws,  but  enforcement  is  limited  and  difficult  in  the  current 
economic  situation.   Legislation  containing  job-related 
safeguards  for  pregnant  women  and  new  mothers  provides  for  the 
right  to  60  days'  maternity  leave.   If  firms  have  day-care 
facilities,  women  reportedly  have  the  right  to  two  half-hour 
breaks  daily  for  a  year  to  feed  their  children.   Child  labor 
is  also  controlled,  and  the  minimum  working  age  (excluding 
agriculture)  is  16.   The  Government  sets  wage  rates.   As  part 
of  the  economic  reform  program,  after  currency  devaluations 
totaling  almost  1,000  percent,  the  Government  increased  wages 
by  50  to  90  percent,  but  wages  are  still  woefully  inadequate, 
given  the  high  rate  of  inflation  and  price  rises  that  are  part 
of  the  economic  reform  process.   The  minimum  wage  is 
approximately  $28  per  month. 

Until  recently  labor  law  in  Mozambique  placed  extensive 
restrictions  on  employers'  control  over  their  employees. 
However,  the  Government  has  enacted  a  comprehensive 
labor  law  that  increases  the  autonomy  of  employers.   Among 
other  things,  it  allows  both  public  and  private  firms  to  fire 
employees  without  obtaining  governmental  permission.   Companies 
may  now  also  reward  their  best  workers  with  bonuses  and 
penalize  less  productive  employees. 


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NAMIBIA 


Namibia  is  a  political  anomaly,  and  its  unique  status 
significantly  affects  the  human  rights  situation  in  the 
territory.   Formerly  German  South  West  Africa,  Namibia  has 
been  ruled  by  the  Republic  of  South  Africa  since  1915.   The 
United  Nations  lifted  South  Africa's  1920  League  of  Nations 
mandate  in  1966.   However,  South  Africa  refused  to  relinquish 
the  territory  and  ignored  a  1971  advisory  opinion  of  the 
International  Court  of  Justice  upholding  U.N.  authority  over 
Namibia  and  calling  for  South  Africa's  immediate  withdrawal. 
Although  the  South  African  Government's  representative  in 
Windhoek,  the  Administrator  General,  continues  to  "administer" 
Namibia,  South  Africa  over  the  years  has  created  several 
structures  to  which  it  has  devolved  some  autonomy  over  internal 
affairs.   (South  Africa  retains  direct  responsibility  for 
foreign  affairs,  defense,  and  the  territory's  constitutional 
status.)   The  most  recent  structure  created,  the  Transitional 
Government  of  National  Unity  (TG) ,  has  been  serving  since  June 
1985.   A  number  of  political  groups  refused  to  join  the  TG, 
including  the  South  West  African  People's  Organization  (SWAPO), 
the  largest  and  most  important  group  opposing  South  Africa  and 
the  TG.   The  international  community  does  not  recognize  the  TG 
and  holds  the  South  African  Government  responsible  for  the 
actions  of  the  Namibian  authorities. 

In  1978  the  United  States,  the  United  Kingdom,  France,  the 
Federal  Republic  of  Germany,  and  Canada  drafted  a  proposal  for 
Namibian  independence  agreed  to  in  talks  with  South  Africa, 
SWAPO,  and  the  neighboring  states  (known  as  the  "Front  Line 
States").   This  proposal  was  adopted  by  the  United  Nations 
Security  Council  as  UNSCR  435.  It  calls  for  a  cease-fire,  the 
phased  withdrawal  of  South  African  forces,  and  free  elections 
under  U.N.  supervision.   South  Africa  has  said  it  will 
implement  UNSCR  435  only  with  a  satisfactory  commitment  by  the 
Angolan  Government  on  the  parallel  withdrawal  of  Cuban  troops 
from  Angola.   The  United  States,  Angola,  and  South  Africa  have 
held  periodic  talks  on  a  timetable  for  Cuban  troop  withdrawal 
and,  in  past  years,  the  Angolan  and  South  African  Governments 
have  made  formal  proposals  on  the  numbers  and  timing  of  that 
withdrawal.   The  United  States  held  talks  with  Angolan 
officials  in  April,  July,  and  September  1987  on  this  issue. 

Meanwhile,  Namibia  continues  to  experience  low-level  guerrilla 
conflict  with  insurgents  of  SWAPO's  military  branch,  the 
People's  Liberation  Army  of  Namibia  (PLAN),  fighting  the  South 
African  Defense  Forces  (SADF),  and  Namibia's  South-West  Africa 
Territorial  Force  (SWATF).   SWAPO  draws  its  strength 
principally  from  within  the  Ovambo  tribe.   The  bulk  of  the 
insurgency  and  counter  insurgency  effort  occurs  in  the  north  in 
Ovamboland  and  Kavango,  but  violence  erupts  sporadically 
throughout  the  country.   Guerrilla  activity  by  PLAN  diminished 
in  1987  in  the  face  of  effective  South  African  operations. 
SWAPO,  whose  external  political  and  military  wings  are  based 
in  Luanda,  Angola,  also  has  a  political  wing  which  is  allowed 
to  operate  inside  Namibia. 

Some  60  percent  of  the  population  of  1.3  million  lives  by 
subsistence  agriculture.   The  modern  economy  relies  on  mining 
(which  employs  at  least  10  percent  of  the  work  force),  fishing, 
ranching,  and  food  processing.   Gross  domestic  product  grew  by 
3.5  percent  in  1986  and  was  expected  to  grow  by  about  2.5 
percent  in  1987,  according  to  government  statistics.   However, 
the  relative  lack  of  diversification  in  the  economy  has 
produced  uneven  growth.   Economic  conditions  are  particularly 


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NAMIBIA 

severe  in  the  north.   Overall  the  Transitional  Government 
estimated  unemployment  to  be  15  percent  in  1986. 

In  1987,  as  over  the  past  20  years,  most  reports  of  human 
rights  violations  by  government  authorities  or  SWAPO  involved 
actions  taken  in  the  "operational  area"  in  northern  Namibia 
(where  over  half  of  the  territory's  population  lives)  and 
during  South  African  raids  into  southern  Angola.   Arbitrary 
government  detention  without  access  to  counsel  or  visits  by 
family  members  as  well  as  other  restrictions,  e.g.,  on  freedom 
of  assembly,  continued.   During  1987  the  TG ' s  Constitutional 
Council  grappled  with  the  drafting  of  a  constitution.   A 
majority  of  the  Council's  members  accepted  a  draft  that  would 
effectively  end  ethnic-based  government,  but  the  South  African 
Government  said  the  draft  did  not  provide  adequate  guarantees 
for  group  or  minority  rights.   In  a  move  interpreted  by  some 
as  a  sign  of  displeasure  over  the  majority  draft  constitution, 
the  South  African  Government  cut  its  subsidy  to  Namibia  by 
$100  million. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

Namibia  remains  an  arena  of  guerrilla  conflict,  and  in  the 
course  of  operations  there  are  periodic  reports  of  politically 
motivated  attacks  and  killing  by  both  government  security 
forces  and  SWAPO  (see  Section  l.g.).   The  SADF/SWATF  claim 
SWAPO  guerrillas  have  murdered  some  civilians  of  the  dominant 
Ovambo  tribe  in  the  northern  operational  area,  allegedly  to 
intimidate  others  into  supporting  SWAPO  or  at  least  refraining 
from  helping  the  security  forces. 

There  are  regular  and  numerous  reports  of  abuses,  including 
killings,  by  an  internal  police  counter  insurgency  force 
formerly  known  as  "Koevoet"  ("Crowbar"),  and  now  known  as 
"Coin"  (short  for  "counterinsurgency" ) .   In  the  most  prominent 
case,  six  security  force  members  were  charged  in  September 
with  murder  in  the  killing  of  SWAPO  member  Immanuel  Shifidi 
during  a  SWAPO  rally  in  November  1986.   The  trial  was 
continuing  at  the  end  of  1987. 

b.  Disappearance 

Under  security  legislation,  security  forces  need  not  notify 
anyone  when  a  person  is  detained,  and  they  often  hold 
detainees  inconununicado  for  extended  periods  of  time.   As  a 
result,  some  Namibians  have  "disappeared"  only  to  turn  up 
later  in  detention  cells.   As  in  previous  years,  there  were 
reports  in  1987  that  security  force  officials  failed  to 
respond  to  requests  from  family  members  for  information.   In 
such  cases,  legal  counsel  sometimes  has  to  petition  the  courts 
to  obtain  information  on  suspected  detainees.   Amnesty 
International  (AI),  in  its  1987  Report  (covering  1986),  noted 
that  the  van  Dyck  Commission  (see  Section  I.e.)  had  determined 
that  the  security  police  had  not  kept  records  on  detainees 
under  security  law  AG-9 .   AI  stressed  that  this  failure  to 
keep  records  may  explain  why  in  previous  years  the  authorities 
were  unable  to  account  for  people  whose  relatives  believed 
they  had  been  detained. 


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NAMIBIA 

In  1987  there  was  a  continuing  controversy  over  what  has 
happened  to  approximately  100  SWAPO  members.   One  Namibian 
group,  the  Parents  Committee,  and  the  International  Society 
for  Human  Rights  claimed  that  SWAPO  had  itself  killed  several 
of  these  persons  and  was  holding  the  remainder  against  their 
will.   SWAPO  claimed  that  the  persons  concerned  were  "spies" 
and  were  being  held  in  camps  in  Angola  and  Zambia.   These 
"disappearances"  also  may  be  related  to  the  SWATF  claims  that 
SWAPO  kidnaps  civilians,  particularly  young  people,  to  gain 
recruits.   SWATF  claimed  in  June  that  SWAPO  had  abducted  89 
people,  including  73  children,  in  the  previous  2  weeks.   Eight 
of  the  73  children  reportedly  "escaped."   SWAPO  consistently 
has  denied  claims  of  kidnaping,  saying  that  its  recruits  come 
voluntarily. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Allegations  of  abuses  by  security  forces,  particularly 
Koevoet,  continued  in  1987.   As  in  earlier  years,  political 
leaders,  clergymen,  and  others  regularly  made  detailed 
allegations  that  the  police  and  security  forces  engaged  in 
brutal  treatment,  including  severe  beatings,  of  civilians, 
primarily  in  northern  Namibia,  in  and  out  of  detention.   Some 
of  these  allegations  have  been  confirmed,  either  through 
admissions  by  security  force  personnel  or  through 
investigations.   The  Transitional  Government's  Minister  of 
Justice  stated  publicly  that  the  TG  should  not  be  held 
responsible  for  police  or  Defense  Force  atrocities,  as  it  does 
not  control  these  forces. 

The  authorities  have  investigated  some,  but  not  all,  cases  of 
alleged  misbehavior  by  security  forces.   In  a  few  cases, 
investigations  were  spurred  by  defense  attorneys'  threats  to 
institute  what  are  known  as  "private  prosecutions"  of  security 
officials.   In  a  1987  case,  a  South  African  police  captain, 
Pat  King,  stood  trial  for  the  torture  of  several  Ovambo 
citizens  and  the  killing  of  one  of  them,  Johannes  Kakuva,  in 
1980.   King  was  acquitted  in  December  1987.   In  another  case, 
a  Koevoet  captain  admitted  during  a  trial  of  eight  suspected 
SWAPO  insurgents  that  he  had  beaten  one  of  the  accused  in 
order  to  force  a  confession.   The  confession  was  excluded  as 
evidence,  but  the  victim  nevertheless  was  convicted  of 
terrorism.   Upon  the  judge's  recommendation,  two  officers 
involved  in  the  interrogation  of  Johnny  Heita  and  seven  others 
were  investigated  for  their  conduct.   However,  the  Government 
decided  in  November  not  to  prosecute.   The  SADF  has  stated 
that  during  1985  and  1986,  29  SADF  members  were  tried, 
convicted,  and  sentenced  in  the  Windhoek  Supreme  Court  to 
terms  ranging  up  to  22  years  in  prison. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

The  Government  employs  three  pieces  of  security  legislation 
granting  broad  powers  of  detention.   In  contrast  to  previous 
years,  in  1987  the  Government  relied  primarily  on  Section  6  of 
the  Terrorism  Act  of  1967  to  detain  suspected  insurgents  or 
SWAPO  sympathizers.   This  Act,  repealed  in  South  Africa  but 
continuing  in  force  in  Namibia,  is  the  harshest  of  the  three 
laws,  allowing  for  indefinite  incommunicado  detention  without 
review.   Under  the  Act,  the  detainee  frequently  is  held  in 
solitary  confinement  and  does  not  have  access  to  counsel,  his 
own  physician,  family,  or  friends.   He  does,  however,  have 
access  to  government-appointed  doctors  and  magistrates.   The 
other  two  laws,  enacted  by  proclamations  of  the  Administrator 


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NAMIBIA 

General  and  also  providing  for  detention  without  trial,  are 
known  as  AG-9  and  AG-26.   The  former,  which  heretofore 
constituted  the  legal  basis  for  most  detentions,  allows  for 
access  to  counsel  only  after  30  days;  the  latter  allows  for 
early  access. 

It  is  not  certain  how  many  people  were  in  detention  during 
1987.   In  a  response  to  a  parliamentary  question  in  June, 
South  African  President  Botha  stated  that  there  were  a  total 
of  10  Namibians  in  detention  without  trial  under  the  three 
security  laws;  9  under  the  Terrorism  Act.   But  the  TG ' s 
Minister  of  Justice  said  in  May  that  several  people  were  being 
detained  under  AG-26. 

In  the  most  important  detention  case,  the  police  detained  six 
SWAPO  m.embers  and  trade  unionists,  five  on  August  18  and  one 
on  August  26,  ostensibly  under  the  Terrorism  Act.   They  were 
Dan  Tjongarero,  Nico  Bessinger,  Hendrik  Witbooi,  Anton 
Lubowski,  John  Pandeni  and,  later,  Ben  Ulenga.   The  police 
claimed  that  they  were  being  detained  in  connection  with 
SWAPO" s  July  bombing  of  a  Windhoek  parking  garage.   However, 
the  Windhoek  Supreme  Court  ordered  the  release  of  the  six  on 
September  11  and  criticized  the  Government  for  continued 
recourse  to  the  Terrorism  Act,  describing  it  as  "draconian." 
Although  courts  cannot  review  detentions  under  the  Terrorism 
Act,  the  Court  released  the  detainees  because  the  police  had 
improperly  invoked  the  Act. 

Some  of  the  same  SWAPO  members  and  trade  unionists  had  been 
arrested  earlier  in  the  year  under  AG-9,  and  SWAPO's  Secretary 
for  Labor  was  detained  under  the  same  decree  in  October.   In 
at  least  three  instances  people  were  initially  detained  under 
AG-9  but  later  held  under  the  more  restrictive  Terrorism  Act. 

There  were  no  legal  challenges  to  the  constitutionality  of 
security  legislation  in  1987,  as  there  had  been  in  1985  and 
1986,  and  all  the  security  provisions  remain  in  force. 
Although  the  TG ' s  own  "Bill  of  Fundamental  Rights"  stipulates 
that  "no  one  shall  be  detained  for  an  indefinite  period  of 
time  without  a  fair  and  proper  trial  by  a  court,"  the  uncertain 
status  of  the  TG  and  continuing  rule  by  South  Africa  prevented 
this  right  from  being  respected  fully.   The  South  African 
State  President  issued  Proclamation  157  of  1986,  which  stated 
that  no  court  would  be  competent  "to  inquire  into  or  pronounce 
upon  the  validity"  of  any  act  passed  by  the  South  African 
Parliament  before  or  after  the  formation  of  the  TG .   Since  the 
TG  has  not  won  approval  from  South  Africa  to  apply  a  new 
constitution,  the  Appeals  Court  in  South  Africa  (the  highest 
court  for  Namibian  legal  matters)  ruled  that  no  law  in  force 
before  the  institution  of  the  Bill  of  Rights  (June  1985)  was 
subject  to  the  Bill's  provisions. 

There  is  no  forced  labor  in  Namibia. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  judiciary  (Supreme  Court,  magistrate  courts)  is  independent 
of  the  executive  (TG) ,  but  its  authority  is  limited  by  TG  and 
South  African  legislation  and  subject  to  appellate  review  by 
the  South  African  Court  of  Appeals  in  Bloemf ontein.   The 
Namibian  judicial  structure  comprises  two  overlapping  systems-- 
one  for  whites,  westernized  blacks,  and  coloreds,  and  another 
for  the  indigenous  African  people.   In  1919  Roman-Dutch  law 
was  declared  the  common  law  of  the  territory. 


209 


NAMIBIA 

Most  trials  are  held  in  public,  and  the  defendants  have  a 
right  to  counsel.   Those  who  are  brought  to  trial  generally 
receive  a  fair  hearing  based  on  the  legal  merits  of  their 
case,  and  there  is  a  right  of  appeal. 

There  was  no  further  action  on  the  van  Dyck  Commission  report, 
issued  in  October  1986,  which  proposed  revisions  in  the 
security  legislation.   The  Commission  had  recommended,  inter 
alia,  that  the  security  laws  be  consolidated  into  one  act. 
The  Commission  would  permit  the  retention  of  detention  without 
trial.   The  proposals  would  also  place  the  burden  on  defendants 
to  prove  their  innocence  "beyond  a  balance  of  probability"  once 
the  prosecution  has  established  that  the  alleged  crime  did 
occur  and  that  the  accused  had  some  knowledge  of  it. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Security  legislation  allows  the  security  forces  almost 
unlimited  powers  of  search  and  seizure.   Invasion  of  homes  is 
said  to  be  connmonplace  in  the  northern  operational  zone.   Cars 
are  searched  at  security  checkpoints.   Telephones  and  mail  of 
those  unsympathetic  to  the  TG  and  the  security  forces  are 
believed  to  be  monitored.   Some  individuals  charge  that  they 
are  under  periodic  surveillance.   There  have  been  allegations 
that  security  forces  have  threatened  civilians  to  obtain 
information  on  suspected  SWAPO  insurgents. 

g.  Violations  of  Humanitarian  Law  in  Armed  Conflicts 

Namibia  has  witnessed  insurgency  and  counterinsurgency  since 
1966.   Although  the  combat  action  is  often  described  as 
low-level  guerrilla  activity  or  as  a  "bush  war,"  the 
cumulative  costs  in  casualties  and  resources  are  high,  and 
there  is  no  end  to  the  conflict  in  sight. 

In  this  long-running  conflict,  many  innocent  civilians  have 
been  hurt  or  killed.   There  are  regular  charges  of  abuse  by 
security  forces,  particularly  in  the  "operational  area"  of 
northern  Namibia.   The  brother  of  a  prominent  church  leader 
was  killed  in  June.   While  the  South  African  Defense  Force 
admits  shooting  the  man,  Joseph  Dumeni,  SADF  claims  he  was 
shot  while  violating  the  dusk-to-dawn  curfew  in  the 
operational  area  in  northern  Namibia.   His  family  claims, 
however,  that  he  was  killed  in  Angola  before  the  curfew. 
There  have  been  calls  for  a  police  investigation,  and  Dumeni "s 
wife  is  suing  the  SADF  and  the  South  African  Defense 
Minister.   In  June  one  young  woman  was  killed  by  security 
forces  during  a  disputed  curfew  violation.   Several  other 
people  have  been  shot  during  alleged  curfew  violations.   In 
early  October,  security  forces  allegedly  killed  one  woman  and 
injured  two  others  at  an  Ovamboland  hospital. 

Civilians  have  also  been  killed  in  the  course  of  both  security 
force  pursuits  of  insurgents  and  SWAPO  insurgent  actions.   Two 
were  killed  when  a  Koevoet  armored  vehicle  reportedly  ran  over 
a  hut  in  Ovamboland.   The  SWATF  claimed  that  a  SWAPO  bombing 
of  an  Ovambo  shop  killed  2  and  injured  22.   Other  civilians 
reportedly  were  killed  when  vehicles  exploded  landmines 
planted  by  the  guerrillas.   The  Government  alleged  that  two 
children  were  killed  in  October  by  antipersonnel  mines  planted 
by  SWAPO.   A  SWAPO  bomb  blast  at  a  post  office  in  Walvis  Bay 
in  November  slightly  injured  one  security  guard.   Two  other 
bombs  within  a  24-hour  period  in  Swakopmund  and  along  a  rail 
line  in  Windhoek  caused  minor  damage  and  no  injuries.   The 


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July  car  bomb  in  the  parking  garage  of  Windhoek's  largest 
hotel  and  shopping  center  caused  substantial  damage  but  no 
injuries.   Civilian  casualties  could  have  been  significant  if 
the  bomb  had  exploded  during  business  hours.   There  have  been 
further  allegations  of  kidnapings  by  SWAPO.   Security  forces, 
particularly  Koevoet,  have  been  accused  of  beating  civilians 
during  searches  for  insurgents  or  as  a  means  of  intimidating 
civilians  in  the  north,  ostensibly  to  discourage  assistance  to 
SWAPO  guerrillas. 

The  Government  and  SWAPO  have  blamed  each  other  for  several 
bombings  or  other  attacks  in  1987.   The  most  notable  example 
was  the  bombing  and  total  destruction  of  a  Roman  Catholic 
church  in  Ovambo  in  September  (there  were  no  injuries).   The 
security  forces  alleged  SWAPO  had  carried  out  the  action; 
SWAPO  denied  this,  arguing  that  there  was  no  reason  to  launch 
an  attack  against  a  group  which  is  considered  sympathetic  to 
SWAPO . 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Both  South  Africa  and  the  TG  restrict  non-Namibians  from 
speaking  out  on  political  issues  within  Namibia.   The  TG  has 
the  authority  to  ban  outsiders  from  entering  Namibia  to  give 
speeches.   The  law  also  bans  rightwing  groups — including  the 
Conservative  Party,  the  Herstigte  Nasionale  Party,  and  the  far 
right  Afrikaner  Weerstandsbeweging  from  speaking  on  plans  for 
Namibian  independence. 

Namibian  newspapers  are  subject  to  South  African  press  laws, 
including  the  Internal  Security  Act  of  1950,  which  restrict 
reporting  on  some  security  matters.   Nevertheless,  Namibian 
newspapers  can  and  often  do  publish  stories  critical  of  the 
security  forces  and  TG.   Although  the  Government  controls  the 
electronic  media,  newspapers  represent  views  covering  the 
entire  political  spectrum.   Editorials  have  supported  a 
variety  of  views,  including  pro-SWAPO  sentiments.   Newspapers 
also  continue  to  publish  stories  critical  of  the  activities  of 
specific  government  employees. 

There  were,  however,  instances  of  government  restrictions  on 
the  press  in  1987.   The  weekly.  The  Namibian,  alleged  that  it 
was  harassed  and  its  reporters  and  photographers  were  not 
given  equal  access  when  covering  security-related  stories. 
The  South  African  Directorate  of  Publications,  which  determines 
which  stories  are  publishable,  banned  distribution  of  a  January 
issue  of  The  Namibian  for  publishing  a  photograph  of  an  armored 
vehicle  with  bodies  of  dead  SWAPO  insurgents  strapped  to  the 
outside  of  the  vehicle.   The  South  African  authorities  also 
banned  a  September  edition  of  the  weekly  Observer,  on  security 
grounds . 

Publications  which  are  banned  in  South  Africa  are  for  the  most 
part  also  banned  in  Namibia.   Some  SWAPO  publications  have 
routinely  been  declared  "undesirable"  and  thus  illegal  to  sell 
or  distribute.   Windhoek  bookstores  carry  some  publications 
which  one  would  not  find  in  South  Africa,  and  regulations 
regarding  sexually  oriented  publications  are  somewhat  less 
stringent  in  Namibia. 


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b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Namibian  law  requires  that  persons  wishing  to  organize  public 
meetings  must  obtain  prior  approval  from  the  Government  under 
the  Notification  and  Prohibition  of  Meetings  Act.   Bans  on 
meetings  can  also  be  imposed  under  the  Riotous  Assemblies  Act 
of  1956.   The  Windhoek  Supreme  Court  removed  some  restrictions 
on  SWAPO  meetings  in  1986.   As  a  result,  there  were  no  further 
outright  bannings  of  SWAPO  meetings  in  1987,  and  SWAPO  held 
several  rallies  including  a  May  Day  rally.   However,  security 
forces  forcibly  broke  up  some  SWAPO  meetings  claiming  they 
were  acting  in  self-defense  or  were  reacting  to  the  presence 
of  SWAPO  members  armed  with  weapons.   In  one  incident,  Rossing 
Uranium,  one  of  the  country's  largest  employers,  expressed  its 
"extreme  concern"  over  the  police  breakup  of  a  SWAPO  meeting 
near  its  mine  in  Swakopmund.   The  police  said  they  arrested 
eight  people  for  possession  of  dangerous  weapons  and  claimed 
the  eight  attempted  to  attack  the  police.   Others  at  the 
gathering,  however,  said  that  none  of  the  rally-goers  carried 
weapons  and  that  the  police  action  was  unprovoked.   Security 
forces  have  also  fired  teargas  or  rubber  bullets 
indiscriminately  at  rallies,  according  to  several  witnesses. 

Labor  unions  are  legal  in  Namibia,  and  they  have  the  right  to 
engage  in  collective  bargaining  and  to  strike.   In  1987  there 
was  substantial  union  activity  and  several  strikes.   There  are 
approximately  15  unions  in  Namibia,  several  of  which  were 
first  registered  by  the  Government  in  1987.   Most  Namibian 
workers  are  not  unionized,  but  the  majority  of  workers  in  the 
largest  single  private  sector  of  the  economy,  mining,  are 
unionized.   To  limit  politicization  of  the  unions,  the 
Government  has  legally  proscribed  South  African  unions  from 
organizing  in  Namibia.   Unions  represent  different  political 
views,  but  the  largest  unions,  allied  in  the  National  Union  of 
Namibian  Workers  (NUNW) ,  are  sympathetic  to  SWAPO,  and  their 
leaders  are  SWAPO  officials. 

There  are  no  industrial  courts  in  Namibia,  but  there  are 
conciliation  boards.   Although  unregistered  unions  can  bargain 
with  their  employers  if  they  are  recognized  by  management, 
they  do  not  have  access  to  conciliation  boards.   There  were  43 
strikes  in  Namibia  during  the  first  5  months  of  1987,  the  last 
period  for  which  figures  are  available. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Namibians  enjoy  freedom  of  religion.   Almost  all  Namibians  are 
Christians,  with  the  Lutheran  Church  having  the  most  adherents; 
The  largest  group  belongs  to  the  Evangelical  Lutheran  Ovambo- 
Kavango  Church,  now  known  as  the  Evangelical  Lutheran  Church 
in  Namibia  (ELCIN) .   Roman  Catholic,  Anglican,  Methodist,  and 
Dutch  Reformed  churches  are  also  active.   There  is  one  Jewish 
synagogue,  in  Windhoek. 

The  majority  of  church  leaders  are  openly  critical  of  the  TG, 
and  are  allied  through  the  Council  of  Churches  of  Namibia 
(CCN) .   CCN  leaders  claim  that  they  are  regularly  harassed, 
and  several  church  officials  were  denied  passports  in  1987,  as 
they  had  been  in  earlier  years.   The  security  forces  and  the 
Government  have  said  that  these  church  people  are  SWAPO 
supporters . 


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d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

A  dusk-to-dawn  curfew  in  the  entire  operational  area  of 
northern  Namibia  remains  in  place.   A  legal  challenge  to  the 
curfew  by  some  church  leaders  failed  in  the  Windhoek  court  in 
1986  and  in  the  appeals  court  in  South  Africa  in  1987.   The 
curfew,  as  noted  elsewhere,  has  served  as  the  backdrop  for 
several  disputes  over  alleged  human  rights  abuses  by  the 
security  forces. 

Until  November  15,  1987,  when  the  requirement  was  eliminated, 
there  were  six  security  districts  which  no  person  could  visit 
without  first  obtaining  a  police  permit.   The  districts 
affected  included  Ovamboland,  Kavangoland,  Kaokoland, 
Bushmanland,  Hereroland  East,  and  the  Eastern  Caprivi. 
Obtaining  a  permit  generally  took  2  days.   Church  people 
complained  that  the  permit  requirements  restricted  their 
access  to  the  north,  where  most  of  their  parishioners  live. 

South  Africa,  through  the  Administrator  General  in  Windhoek, 
controls  foreign  travel  by  Namibians.   There  were  several 
cases  in  1987  where  political  opponents  of  the  TG  were  denied 
either  passports  or  travel  documents.   Since  the  holding  of  a 
passport  is  considered  a  privilege,  not  a  right,  those  denied 
passports  or  travel  documents  cannot  appeal  through  the 
courts.   The  Administrator  General  and  his  officers  do  not 
have  to  provide  reasons  for  a  denial. 

There  were  no  known  deportations  under  the  "Residence  of 
Certain  Persons  in  South  West  Africa  Regulation  Act,"  which 
allows  for  the  deportation  of  non-Namibians  who  threaten  the 
public  order. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Namibians  do  not  have  the  right  to  change  their  government. 
South  Africa  still  maintains  control  over  the  territory,  even 
though  the  United  Nations  has  declared  South  Africa's  mandate 
illegal.   While  the  Transitional  Government  in  theory  controls 
most  government  portfolios  except  for  defense  and  foreign 
affairs,  the  South  African  Government  and  its  representative, 
the  Administrator  General,  still  maintain  ultimate  authority. 

The  TG  and  the  National  Assembly  are  appointed,  not  elected, 
bodies.   Namibia  is  administered  by  a  three-tiered  structure, 
created  in  1980  under  a  decree,  promulgated  by  the 
Administrator  General,  known  as  AG-8,  which  provides  for  a 
central  legislative  body  (the  National  Assembly),  11 
ethnic-based  second-tier  authorities,  and  local  or  municipal 
authorities.   Only  some  of  the  second-tier  legislatures  have 
been  elected.   The  second-tier  element,  which  currently 
establishes  the  Namibian  political  system  on  an  ethnic  basis 
rather  than  on  a  national  nontribal  basis,  generates 
considerable  internal  political  debate.   The  Transitional 
Government  requested  during  1987  that  the  Windhoek  Supreme 
Court  offer  an  advisory  opinion  on  whether  AG-8  violated  the 
antidiscrimination  provisions  of  the  TG ' s  Bill  of  Fundamental 
Rights.   The  opinion,  which  had  yet  to  be  issued  at  the  end  of 
1987,  would  not  be  binding.   The  possibility  of  ethnic  or 
regional  elections  was  discussed  during  1987,  but  a  1-year 
moratorium  has  been  issued  on  most  second-tier  elections. 
(The  Ovambo  and  Damara  authorities  are  not  included  in  the 
moratorium.)   The  Rehoboth  Basters,  1  of  the  11  ethnic  groups. 


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are  ruled  under  a  separate  dispensation  and  held  elections 
December  16.   Such  elections  are  not  recognized  internationally 
because  of  the  U.N.  withdrawal  of  South  Africa's  mandate. 
UNSCR  435  calls  for  internationally  supervised  elections  of  a 
national  constituent  assembly  as  part  of  the  independence 
process.   Although  UNSCR  435  calls  for  these  elections  before 
the  drafting  of  a  constitution,  the  South  African  President 
created  a  Constitutional  Council  containing  members  of  the  TG 
to  devise  a  constitution.   The  Council  reached  majority  but 
not  unanimous  agreement  on  a  draft  in  1987.   However,  this 
draft  apparently  was  unacceptable  to  the  South  African 
Government  because  it  did  not  provide  adequate  guarantees  for 
minority  ethnic  groups.   In  June,  after  a  meeting  between 
South  African  Government  and  TG  officials  in  Windhoek,  it  was 
decided  to  offer  the  majority  draft  and  another  one,  supported 
by  the  South  West  Africa  National  Party  and  the  Rehoboth 
Basters,  for  public  comment.   Discussions  among  the  TG 
majority,  the  TG  minority,  the  Administrator  General,  and  the 
South  African  Government  on  the  constitution  were  continuing 
at  the  end  of  1987. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Administrator  General  and  the  TG  had  a  mixed  record  in 
1987  in  permitting  critics  of  Namibia's  human  rights  situation 
to  visit  Namibia.   A  representative  of  the  Lawyers'  Committee 
for  Human  Rights  initially  was  refused  a  visa,  but  then  was 
allowed  entry.   Some  church  officials,  including  those 
belonging  to  the  territory's  largest  denomination,  the 
Lutheran  Church,  were  allowed  into  the  country.   The  TG 
refused  two  Lutheran  groups  visas  for  a  "pastoral  visit"  in 
October,  claiming  the  groups  "are  not  in  favor  of  the 
Government  and  they  have  not  contributed  to  the  peace  and 
stability  of  this  country."   The  Lutheran  World  Federation 
protested  the  visa  denial  to  President  Botha.   During  1987  the 
International  Committee  of  the  Red  Cross  (ICRC)  visited  25 
persons  at  Windhoek  security  prison  who  had  been  sentenced  or 
were  awaiting  trial  on  the  basis  of  security  laws  and  arranged 
for  family  visits  to  the  prisoners.   The  ICRC  is  seeking 
access  to  all  detainees  arrested  in  connection  with  the 
conflict,  and  negotiations  among  the  ICRC,  the  TG,  and  the 
South  African  Government  were  continuing  at  the  end  of  1987. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Namibia's  second-tier  government  authorities  are  based  on  the 
following  racial  and  ethnic  groups  present  in  the  territory: 
Ovambo,  Whites,  Damara,  Herero,  Kavango,  Nama,  Colored  (mixed 
race),  Kaokovelder,  Bushmen,  Rehoboth  Baster,  Caprivian,  and 
Tswana.   Namibia's  population  in  1987  was  estimated  at  1.3 
million,  of  whom  just  over  half  are  Ovambo.   There  are 
approximately  75,000  whites  in  Namibia.   Although  some 
government  revenues  are  shared  among  all  the  groups,  much  of 
the  tax  revenue  collected  from  members  of  the  different  ethnic 
groups  stays  with  that  group.   Thus,  white  medical  and 
educational  facilities  are  far  superior  to  those  of  the  other 
groups . 

Social  facilities  are  generally  open  to  all  races,  although 
private  businesses  can,  and  in  some  cases  do,  restrict 
admittance  based  on  race.   Unlike  South  Africa,  residential 
areas  are  not  legally  segregated.   Economic  factors  do. 


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however,  separate  the  races,  and  there  are  de  facto  black  and 
"colored"  townships  in  the  territory.   Some  hospitals,  such  as 
the  state  hospital  in  Windhoek,  admit  all  patients  but  have 
separate  wings  for  different  races. 

Although  the  majority  of  the  TG  is  in  favor  of  opening  the 
schools  to  all  races,  schools  remained  segregated  through 
1987.   Under  AG-8,  the  1980  decree  that  first  divided  Namibia 
into  11  ethnic  authorities,  school  administration  is  considered 
part  of  "own  affairs,"  which  are  controlled  by  the  ethnic 
authorities.   The  TG  does  not  have  the  legal  authority  under 
AG-8  to  force  the  ethnic  administered  schools  to  desegregate. 
The  white  second-tier  authority  has  agreed  to  accept 
applications  by  individual  schools  that  want  to  desegregate, 
but  so  far  only  one  school  has  applied.   In  March  the  white 
legislative  assembly  approved  a  bill  to  eliminate  race  or 
color  in  themselves  as  factors  in  school  admissions,  but 
replaced  them  with  factors  such  as  culture,  language,  and 
religion,  thus  effectively  perpetuating  the  segregated  system. 
Further  movement  on  the  issue  of  school  desegregation  depends 
on  the  broader  issue  of  the  continuation  of  AG-8.   As  noted 
earlier,  the  Windhoek  Supreme  Court  has  been  asked  to  give  a 
nonbinding  advisory  opinion  as  to  whether  AG-8  violates  the 
TG ' s  Bill  of  Fundamental  Rights,  which  calls  for  an  end  to 
discrimination  on  the  basis  of  race  or  ethnicity. 

The  South  West  African  National  Party  and  the  Rehoboth 
Basters,  two  TG  parties,  continued  their  opposition  to  open 
schools  and  a  loosening  of  the  various  ethnic  groups'  control 
over  "own  affairs."   Moreover,  the  South  African  Government 
has  consistently  expressed  support  for  group  rights  and  "own 
affairs"  in  Namibia  as  well  as  in  South  Africa. 

Women  continued  to  be  discriminated  against  in  both  the 
traditional  and  modern  sectors.   Under  traditional  practice,  a 
woman  is  usually  the  ward  of  her  father  or,  when  married,  her 
husband.   She  is  not  independent.   There  is  still  some  de 
facto  discrimination  in  employment  in  the  modern  sector. 
There  are  female  members  of  the  National  Assembly,  but  there 
are  no  female  cabinet  members.   Some  community  groups  and 
government  bodies  are  targeting  women  in  their  development 
programs . 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

There  is  no  minimum  wage  in  Namibia.   The  minimum  working  age 
is  15.   The  current  occupational  health  standards  are  not 
enforced  and  were  part  of  union  demands  for  revision  in  1987. 
A  labor  commission  appointed  by  the  Administrator  General  to 
review  Namibia's  outdated  labor  laws,  including  safety  and 
health  standards,  is  expected  to  make  public  its 
recommendations  during  the  first  half  of  1988. 


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NIGER 


Niger  is  governed  by  an  authoritarian  military  regime  with 
power  concentrated  in  the  hands  of  its  President,  Colonel  Ali 
Saibou  who  succeeded  the  late  General  Seyni  Kountche  in 
November.   Saibou  also  heads  the  nation's  highest  body,  the 
Supreme  Military  Council.   Kountche,  who  died  of  natural 
causes,  took  power  in  1974  in  a  military  coup,  toppling  the 
civilian  regime  of  Hamani  Diori .   At  that  time  the  Constitution 
was  suspended,  and  the  country  has  since  been  ruled  by  decree. 
President  Saibou  was  Chief  of  Staff  of  the  Armed  Forces  from 
1976  until  assuming  the  Presidency. 

The  Nigerien  Armed  Forces,  numbering  about  2,600  members  plus 
800  gendarmes  (paramilitary  police),  help  ensure  internal 
security.   Other  security  organizations  are:   the  Direction  de 
la  Securite  de  L'Etat  (DSE),  which  reports  directly  to  the 
President;  the  Surete  National  (or  National  Police)  which  is 
responsible  for  maintaining  public  order  and  countering 
antigovernment  activity;  and  a  presidential  protection  unit. 

Niger,  one  of  the  world's  poorest  countries,  occupies  a  large 
area  in  the  arid  Sahel  region  of  West  Africa.   The  economy  is 
based  on  subsistence  farming,  livestock,  and  some  of  the 
world's  largest  uranium  deposits.   However,  severe  drought,  a 
3.1  percent  population  growth  rate,  and  declining  world  demand 
for  uranium  since  the  early  1980's,  have  seriously  weakened 
the  economy. 

Human  rights  are  circumscribed.   The  freedoms  of  assembly, 
speech,  and  political  activity  are  restricted.   Public  dissent 
is  almost  nonexistent,  and  private  dissent  rare  for  fear  of 
retribution.   In  1987,  however,  a  popular  referendum  approved 
the  National  Charter.   Individual  liberties  of  opinion  and 
thought,  expression,  conscience,  movement,  residence,  and 
communication  are  provided  for  in  principle  in  the  Charter,  as 
are  the  "collective  liberties"  of  assembly  and  political 
meetings.   The  Charter  is  to  serve  as  the  basis  for  Niger's 
future  constitution,  which  supposedly  will  guide  the  country's 
eventual  return  to  civilian  rule.   The  late  President  Kountche 
stressed,  nonetheless,  in  April  that  the  military  will 
continue  to  play  a  major  role  in  the  political  life  of  the 
nation. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  political  killings. 

b.  Disappearance 

No  disappearances  were  reported. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Systematic  torture  of  detainees  and  prisoners  is  not  believed 
to  take  place.   While  not  officially  sanctioned  by  the 
Government,  cruel  treatment,  usually  in  the  form  of  beatings, 
has  been  meted  out  by  officials  charged  with  the  custody  of 
prisoners.   Foreigners  resident  in  Niger  are  frequently 
harassed  by  the  police  and  occasionally  suffer  physical  abuse 


80-779  0  - 


216 


NIGER 

while  in  detention.   It  is  believed  that  political  prisoners 
or  detainees  are  rarely  allowed  visits  from  family  members, 
but  some  with  severe  medical  problems  have  been  allowed 
treatment  by  specialists  from  Europe.   In  its  1987  Report, 
Amnesty  International  (AI)  expressed  concern  that  detainees 
continued  to  be  held  in  harsh  conditions,  including  in  a 
remote  prison  in  eastern  Niger. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

With  the  Constitution  suspended  since  1974,  there  are  no 
specific  statutory  protections  against  arbitrary  arrest  or 
imprisonment.   Warrants  are  not  required  for  an  arrest,  and 
there  is  no  right  to  judicial  review  of  the  legality  of 
arrests  or  detentions.   For  criminal  offenses,  the  law  holds 
that  detainees  must  be  charged  within  48  hours,  but  delays 
sometimes  occur  as  the  result  of  lack  of  trained  legal 
officials.   In  cases  concerning  political  or  security-related 
matters,  detainees  can  be  held  indefinitely  without  charge. 

When  the  Government  believes  the  national  security  to  be  at 
risk,  large  numbers  of  citizens  may  be  rounded  up  arbitrarily 
for  questioning,  as  with  the  roundup  of  Tuaregs  in  Niamey 
after  the  attack  on  a  police  station  in  Tchin-Tabaraden  in 
1985.   There  are  no  known  instances  of  dissidents  or  political 
opponents  being  exiled  by  the  Government,  although  some 
dissidents  have  gone  into  exile  voluntarily. 

Forced  labor  is  not  practiced  in  Niger,  but  during  the  1985 
drought  emergency,  displaced  herders,  primarily  ethnic  Tuaregs 
and  Fulanis,  were  in  some  instances  forcibly  moved  onto 
government-sponsored,  vegetable-growing  projects. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Niger's  legal  system  is  an  amalgam  of  French,  Islamic,  and 
traditional  law.   Civil  and  criminal  cases  not  involving 
security-related  acts  are  tried  publicly.   Legal  counsel  is 
provided  by  the  State  for  indigent  defendants  accused  of 
felonies  or  other  major  offenses  if  they  are  under  18  years  of 
age,  handicapped,  or  faced  with  the  possibility  of  a  sentence 
of  more  than  10  years.   While  there  are  reliable  accounts  that 
courts  in  some  specific  cases  have  been  subject  to  political 
influence  or  pressure  in  ordinary  civil  or  criminal  cases,  the 
judicial  system  is  believed  to  be  generally  independent  and 
fair.   Defendants  may  appeal  verdicts  first  to  an  appellate 
court  and,  if  desired,  to  the  nation's  highest  tribunal,  the 
State  Court,  composed  of  civilian  magistrates,  which  serves  as 
a  final  court  of  appeals.   The  President  has  the  right  of 
pardon  in  penal  cases  and  has  invoked  this  right  on  several 
occasions  in  recent  years.   At  the  village  level,  matters  such 
as  property  disputes  are  frequently  resolved  by  traditional 
means  without  reference  to  the  formal  legal  system. 

The  exact  number  of  political  prisoners  in  Niger  is  unknown, 
although  it  is  believed  to  be  small.   In  November  1987, 
President  Saibou  ordered  the  release  or  commutation  of  the 
sentences  of  over  100  political  prisoners,  including  15 
persons  being  held  in  connection  with  a  1976  coup  attempt,  and 
16  of  the  19  held  in  connection  with  the  October  1983  coup 
attempt.   He  also  commuted  to  life  imprisonment  the  death 
sentences  of  7  of  the  11  Tuareg  prisoners  convicted  for  their 
roles  in  the  1985  Tchin-Tabaraden  attack  and  released  from 
house  arrest  52  persons,  including  former  President  Hamani 
Diori. 


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Political  and  security-related  cases  are  tried  in  the  State 
Security  Court,  which  operates  outside  the  normal  legal 
framework.   This  body,  established  by  presidential  decree, 
meets  in  secret,  and  while  little  is  known  about  its 
proceedings,  it  is  believed  that  its  members  are  military 
officers.   According  to  AI ,  the  Tuaregs  condemned  to  death  in 
1985  were  tried  before  this  court. 

In  June  1985,  President  Kountche  announced  the  formation  of  a 
special  court  to  investigate  civil  service  corruption.   Stiff 
penalties  were  established  for  these  crimes,  including  the 
death  penalty  for  convictions  of  embezzlement  of  amounts  over 
$500,000.   At  the  corruption  trials  held  in  1986,  however, 
life  imprisonment  was  the  most  severe  penalty  assessed. 
Trials  were  also  held  in  1987  but  were  not  widely  publicized. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  police  have  the  right  to  enter  homes  between  5  a.m.  and  9 
p.m.  and  will  enter  at  other  times  if  deemed  necessary.   Court 
warrants  are  not  required  in  such  instances.   Violations  of 
privacy  such  as  interference  with  correspondence,  telephone 
tapping,  and  use  of  informer  networks  are  known  to  take  place. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

These  freedoms  are  restricted.   Institutions  which  might  voice 
dissent,  such  as  an  independent  press  or  a  freely  elected 
legislature,  do  not  exist.   The  media  are  controlled  by  the 
Government.   While  some  criticism  of  government  policy  or 
bureaucratic  inefficiency  is  allowed,  especially  in  the  weekly 
publication,  Sunday  Sahel,  such  criticism  is  expressed  at  the 
behest  of,  or  at  least  with  the  knowledge  and  permission  of, 
the  Government.   Debates  on  aspects  of  the  economy  or  cultural 
policy  sometimes  take  place  in  the  media,  but  the  boundaries 
of  permissible  discussion  are  well  understood  in  advance  by 
all  participants. 

The  primary  functions  of  the  media  are  to  disseminate 
government  policies  and  viewpoints  and  to  rally  popular 
support  for  government  programs  and  leading  figures  such  as 
the  President.   Nigerien  journalists  are  acutely  av;are  of 
their  status  as  government  employees  and  of  the  guidelines 
within  which  they  must  operate.   Journalists  who  have  strayed 
from  these  guidelines  have  been  demoted,  fired,  or  otherwise 
disciplined  in  the  past,  although  no  such  incidents  occurred 
in  1987.   While  there  are  no  legal  constraints  on  academic 
freedom,  in  practice  university  students  and  professors  are 
reluctant  to  speak  openly  about  potentially  controversial 
domestic  issues  for  fear  of  government  reprisal.   There  have 
been  no  reports  of  censored  or  banned  magazines  or  other 
publications,  but  the  Government  is  under  no  legal  constraints 
should  it  discover  material  that  it  deems  offensive.   Foreign 
films  are  subject  to  censorship  by  the  Ministry  of  Interior  on 
grounds  of  public  morality  and  political  content. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Except  for  political  parties,  most  forms  of  voluntary 
association,  such  as  trade  unions,  churches,  and  other 
religious  groups,  function  with  the  understanding  that  they 
must  act  in  accordance  with  government  policy.   Government 


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permission  is  required  for  public  gatherings,  although,  in 
practice,  public  meetings  of  such  organizations  are  usually- 
allowed. 

Roughly  90  percent  of  Niger's  work  force  is  employed  in  some 
aspect  of  agriculture  or  herding.   In  the  small  modern  economy, 
the  trade  union  movement  is  weak,  and  controlled  and  partially 
financed  by  the  Government.   All  unions  are  organized  under  a 
government-controlled  umbrella  group,  the  National  Union  of 
Nigerien  Workers  (USTN) .   The  head  of  the  USTN  is  elected  by 
its  members.   The  USTN  represents  about  30  percent  of  the 
approximately  60,000  salaried  workers  in  Niger.   Collective 
bargaining  is  legally  authorized  and  is  conducted  by 
representatives  from  individual  unions,  employers,  and  the 
Government.   There  is  a  general  collective  bargaining 
agreement  in  force  between  the  USTN,  employers,  and  the 
Government  which  covers  wages  and  benefits.   However, 
individual  unions  are  permitted  to  bargain  for  more  favorable 
agreements  at  their  work  sites.   The  USTN  is  poorly  financed 
partly  because  of  government  refusal  to  allow  fund-raising 
methods  such  as  a  dues  checkoff  system.   Strikes  in  Niger  are 
rare,  although  legal  if  conciliation  and  mediation  procedures 
have  been  exhausted.   The  USTN  maintains  relations  with 
recognized  international  bodies,  e.g.,  the  International  Labor 
Organization  and  the  Accra-based  Organization  of  African  Trade 
Union  Unity. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Niger  is  over  90  percent  Muslim,  but  the  Government  allows  the 
practice  of  other  religious  beliefs.   Foreign  missionaries  are 
permitted  to  live,  work,  and  travel  in  Niger.   There  have  been 
no  reports  of  religious  discrimination.   Out  of  respect  for 
religious  minorities  and  on  political  grounds.  President 
Kountche  vigorously  resisted  any  suggestions  for  making  Niger 
an  Islamic  Republic.   The  new  National  Charter  adopted  in  June 
formally  proclaims  Niger  a  secular  state.   Religious  groups 
are  allowed  to  maintain  links  with  coreligionists  in  other 
countries . 

The  Government,  concerned  by  the  Islamic  fundamentalist 
violence  which  erupts  periodically  in  northern  Nigeria, 
monitors  Muslim  religious  activity  through  the  Islamic 
Association.   This  Association  is  funded  by  the  Government  and 
assists  in  an  intormal  government  screening  process  of  local 
religious  leaders.   Islamic  services  that  have  gone  beyond 
strictly  religious  subjects  have  been  shut  down. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Travel  within  Niger  is  closely  monitored,  although  no  special 
travel  documents  are  required  for  domestic  travel.   Police 
checks,  often  entailing  thorough  searches,  take  place  upon 
entering  or  leaving  any  major  town  or  city.   These  checks 
reflect  a  governmental  preoccupation  with  security  and 
smuggling,  a  concern  over  possible  movements  into  the  country 
of  foreign-based  dissidents  or  criminal  elements,  and  a  policy 
designed  to  discourage  migration  to  urban  areas.   Nigeriens 
wishing  to  travel  abroad  must  obtain  exit  visas,  which  are 
usually  granted  routinely.   Married  women  must  have  the 
permission  of  their  husbands  to  travel  abroad.   The 
repatriation  of  Nigerien  nationals  is  unrestricted.   Niger  is 
a  party  to  the  U.N.  Convention  and  Protocol  Relating  to  the 
Status  of  Refugees  and  has  been  cooperative  with  respect  to 


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the  14  refugees  currently  in  Niger  under  the  auspices  of  the 
U.N.  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  capacity  of  the  people  to  influence  the  Government  is 
extremely  limited.   Virtually  all  power  is  held  by  the 
President,  who  derives  his  authority  from  the  military.   He 
rules  through  the  Supreme  Military  Council  which  is  made  up  of 
officers  who  helped  stage  the  1974  coup  that  toppled  the  last 
civilian  regime.   The  President  rules  by  decree,  makes  all 
government  appointments,  and  controls  the  pace  of  political 
change  and  economic  development.   The  transition  to  the  new 
President  had  proceeded  smoothly  at  the  end  of  1987  with 
little  obvious  change  in  procedures  or  style  of  governance. 
Government  day-to-day  operations  are  conducted  largely  by 
civilian  technocrats  who  implement  decisions  promulgated  by 
the  Supreme  Military  Council  and  the  President  himself.   While 
all  but  five  ministerial  positions  have  passed  from  military 
to  civilian  hands  in  recent  years,  all  of  Niger's  seven 
departments  have  military  governors,  who  have   autocratic 
power  within  their  departments.   Moreover,  there  is  a  marked 
military  presence  in  the  upper  echelons  of  the  National 
Development  Council. 

In  lieu  of  a  party  system,  the  Government  since  1979  has  been 
organizing  the  National  Development  Council  and  subordinate 
councils  at  the  village,  regional,  and  departmental  levels, 
which  in  theory  will  lead  to  greater  popular  participation  in 
economic  decisionmaking.   These  councils  consist  of  elected 
and  appointed  members,  although  only  at  the  village  level  are 
members  elected  directly  by  the  people.   The  national-level 
Council  consists  of  Nigeriens  from  all  walks  of  life,  who  also 
serve  on  special  committees  to  consider  various  aspects  of 
economic  development,  cultural  policy,  and  social   issues. 
One  such  committee  was  responsible  for  drafting  the  National 
Charter  which  will  serve  as  the  framework  for  the  future 
constitution. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

In  recent  years,  inguiries  from  international  human  rights 
organizations,  such  as  AI's  1986  letter  requesting,  among 
other  things,  information  about  seven  detainees,  have 
apparently  been  ignored  by  the  Government.   (In  its  1987 
Report,  AI  noted,  however,  that  one  of  the  detainees  mentioned 
in  its  letter  had  been  released.)   There  are  no  domestic 
groups  which  monitor  the  human  rights  situation  in  Niger. 
Niger  is  not  active  in  regional  and  international  human  rights 
organizations . 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

Four  major  ethnic  groups,  each  with  its  own  language,  make  up 
the  bulk  of  the  population.   The  two  primarily  nomadic  groups, 
Tuaregs  and  Fulani  (Peul),  have  less  access  to  government 
services,  partly  because  their  transient  lifestyles  make  it 
difficult  for  the  Government  to  supply  them  with  services  and 
partly  because  of  historical  animosities  between  the  nomads 
and  the  sedentary  Djerma  and  Hausa  ethnic  groups  which 
dominate  the  Government. 


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NIGER 

The  essentially  traditional  nature  of  Nigerien  society  helps 
ensure  that  family  and  ethnic  group  ties  remain  strong  and 
supportive,  but  traditional  practices  and  attitudes  on 
ethnicity,  women,  and  education  have  some  negative  effects. 
Males  have  considerable  advantages  in  terms  of  education, 
employment,  and  property  rights.   While  women  have  the  right 
to  vote,  Niger  is  notable  for  its  dearth  of  women  in 
senior-level  government  positions.   In  case  of  divorce, 
custody  of  all  children  over  7  years  of  age  is  given  to  the 
husband.   Conscious  of  this  situation,  the  Government  has  made 
progress  in  improving  the  status  of  women  by  launching  work  on 
a  new  family  code,  by  providing  better  employment  opportunities 
to  women,  by  giving  them  a  significant  role  in  the  National 
Development  Council,  and  by  supporting  the  National  Women's 
Association.   In  1987  the  Government  continued  to  encourage 
Nigeriens  to  practice  family  planning. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Under  the  Niger  labor  code,  workers  receive  benefits  for 
on-the-job  injury,  leave  for  family  emergencies,  and  health 
benefits.   Annual  holidays  and  leave  benefits  are  clearly 
defined.   Children  between  the  ages  of  12  and  18  may  be 
employed,  but  there  are  strict  provisions  concerning  the  hours 
and  types  of  employment  for  children  in  this  age  group.   The 
minimum  wage  (about  $74  a  month)  applies  to  all  sectors.   In 
practice,  all  labor  provisions,  especially  those  concerning 
child  labor,  apply  to  urban  areas  and  generally  are  enforced 
mainly  in  the  modern,  wage  sector.   In  the  agricultural 
sector,  which  employs  most  Nigeriens,  children  work  on  family 
plots  under  conditions  which  are  not  in  compliance  with  the 
provisions  of  the  labor  code,  and  there  is  no  attempt  at 
enforcement . 


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President  Ibrahim  Babangida  came  to  power  in  a  military  coup 
in  August  1985,  overthrowing  a  previous  military  government 
which  had  seized  power  from  civilians  in  December  1983.   A 
30-member  Armed  Forces  Ruling  Council  (AFRC)  is  the  country's 
main  decisionmaking  organ,  while  a  mixed  military/civilian 
cabinet  presides  over  the  Federal  Government's  executive 
departments.   Military  governors  head  each  of  the  21  states. 
The  1979  Constitution  remains  partially  in  effect,  but 
significant  provisions,  namely,  those  guaranteeing  free 
elections,  political  parties,  and  the  right  to  due  process  and 
habeas  corpus,  are  suspended.   Due  process  and  habeas  corpus, 
however,  continue  to  be  respected  in  most  cases.   Federal  and 
state  legislation  are  promulgated  by  decrees,  which  are  exempt 
from  challenge  in  the  courts.   The  Government  elaborated  plans 
in  1987  to  return  the  country  to  civilian  rule  featuring  a 
two-party  system,  although  in  July  it  postponed  the  final  date 
from  1990  to  1992.   As  first  steps,  the  Government  in  1987 
created  a  National  Electoral  Commission  and  a  Constitutional 
Review  Committee,  both  composed  of  civilians,  and  conducted 
nationwide  elections  in  December  for  local  governing  councils. 

The  Government  enforces  its  authority  through  the  Federal 
security  apparatus--the  military,  the  State  Security  Service 
(SSS) ,  and  the  national  police--and  through  the  courts.   No 
separate  law  enforcement  agencies  exist  at  the  state  and  local 
levels.   The  Government  generally  exercises  effective  control 
over  the  security  apparatus,  but  deficiencies  in  organization 
and  management  sometimes  lead  to  human  rights  violations. 

Nigeria,  with  an  estimated  108  million  people,  is  Africa's 
most  populous  country.   It  has  a  mixed  economy  in  which  the 
Government  plays  a  major  but  declining  role.   In  June  1986, 
President  Babangida  announced  an  economic  structural  adjustment 
program  calling  for  increased  reliance  on  market  forces  and 
the  private  sector. 

The  Babangida  Government  continued  to  articulate  a  policy  of 
general  respect  for  fundamental  human  rights.   Important 
exceptions  related  to  the  Government's  efforts  to  restrain 
political  debate  and  participation  prior  to  a  return  to 
civilian  rule  and  significant  deficiencies  in  the  judicial  and 
state  security  systems.   Freedom  of  the  press  was  undercut  by 
several  notable  cases  in  which  government  authorities  moved 
against  publishers  and  journalists  for  printing  articles 
either  at  odds  with  government  decisions  or  considered 
inimical  to  national  security.   In  the  wake  of  serious 
religious  rioting  between  Christians  and  Muslims  in  March, 
which  left  19  dead,  the  Government  instituted  various  bans  on 
religious  advertising  and  campus-based  religious  organizing  as 
well  as  limitations  on  proselytizing.   The  Government 
continued  its  practice  of  reviewing  the  cases  of  Nigerians 
detained  or  convicted  under  decrees  of  the  previous  military 
administration.   The  impact  of  these  efforts  was  reduced  by 
the  slow  pace  of  judicial  procedures,  especially  in  the  case 
of  the  corruption  and  civil  disturbances  tribunals. 


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RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 


Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  was  no  evidence  of  politically  motivated  killing  at 
government  or  private  instigation  in  1987.  The  October  1986 
letter-bomb  killing  of  the  editor-in-chief  of  an  influential 
weekly  newsmagazine.  Dele  Giwa,  remains  unsolved,  despite  an 
ongoing  government  investigation.  The  incident  continues  to 
generate  keen  public  interest  and  unsubstantiated  allegations 
of  government  involvement. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  disappearance. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

A  portion  of  the  1979  Constitution  that  is  still  in  effect 
outlaws  torture  and  mistreatment  of  prisoners.   Nigerian  law 
provides  that  such  excesses  be  dealt  with  in  criminal  or  civil 
proceedings.   There  were  no  reports  or  allegations  of  torture 
in  1987.   Public  allegations  of  police  brutality  surfaced 
periodically,  primarily  in  connection  with  periods  of 
heightened  religious  or  community  tensions.   Prominent 
northerners  alleged,  following  March  rioting  in  northern 
Kaduna  state,  that  the  police  and  military  committed  excesses 
in  their  efforts  to  stem  the  violence  and  apprehend 
perpetrators.   Similar  charges  were  made  about  the  treatment 
of  detainees,  some  of  them  children.   There  has  been  no  public 
investigation  of  these  allegations.   Suspected  criminals 
allegedly  killed  by  police  in  separate  instances  in  different 
states  led  to  antipolice  mob  violence.   In  one  of  the 
incidents,  the  state  governor  ordered  a  judicial  probe,  and  in 
both  cases  police  suspected  of  the  actions  were  arrested. 

Prison  conditions  remain  poor  because  of  the  lack  of  basic 
necessities.   In  May,  inmates  at  one  prison  rioted  over  food 
supplies,  resulting  in  the  deaths  of  24  prisoners.   A  special 
tribunal  appointed  by  the  Government  to  look  into  the  incident 
began  hearings  in  September. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

The  Babangida  Government  has  retained  the  authority  to  detain 
without  charge  persons  suspected  of  acts  prejudicial  to  state 
security  or  harmful  to  the  economic  well-being  of  the  country 
under  Decree  2  of  1984,  the  State  Security  (Detention  of 
Persons)  Decree.   This  Decree  suspends  sections  of  the  1979 
Constitution  guaranteeing  citizens  the  right  to  fair  trial, 
due  process,  and  judicial  determination  of  the  legality  of 
detention  (habeas  corpus).   While  it  imposes  no  time  limit  and 
disallows  challenges  of  the  detention  in  a  court  of  law,  the 
Decree  does  provide  for  administrative  review  of  detention 
cases  every  3  months.   Several  persons,  including  former 
politicians  returning  from  self-exile,  were  detained  under 
this  Decree  during  1987.   One  American  citizen  was  detained 
for  103  days  without  charge  before  his  release  on  his  own 
recognizance  on  November  23. 


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NIGERIA 

Some  Nigerians  have  been  detained  in  1987  without  being  held 
under  the  provisions  of  Decree  2  of  1984.   Cumbersome 
administrative  procedures  and  bureaucratic  inefficiency 
sometimes  result  in  persons  suspected  of  criminal  offenses 
being  held  for  extended  periods  without  charge  or  trial  even 
though  provisions  of  the  1979  Constitution  still  in  force 
guarantee  persons  charged  with  crimes  a  fair  public  trial  in 
civilian  courts  within  3  months  from  the  date  of  arrest.   The 
Director  of  Prisons  said  in  September  that  about  two-thirds  of 
Nigeria's  54,000  inmates  are  awaiting  trials.   During  routine 
inspections  of  prisons  in  1987,  High  Court  chief  judges 
exercised  their  right  to  release  detainees  found  to  have  spent 
more  time  in  prison  than  they  would  have  if  they  had  been 
convicted  for  their  alleged  crimes. 

An  unknown  number  of  persons  are  still  in  detention  without 
charge  or  trial  following  the  arrests  of  about  700  persons  in 
connection  with  the  March  religious  disturbances  in  northern 
Nigeria.   The  Civil  Disturbances  (Special  Tribunal)  Decree  of 
1987,  promulgated  after  the  disturbances,  provided  for 
investigation  of  the  rioting  and  for  the  arrest  and  trial  by 
special  tribunal  of  those  suspected  of  committing  specified 
offenses.   This  decree  makes  northern  Nigeria's  criminal 
procedure  code  the  applicable  law  for  the  trials  (including 
provisions  for  bail,  representation  by  lawyers,  and  appeal  — 
except  in  cases  of  armed  robbery).   However,  administrative 
confusion  has  resulted  in  continued  detention  without  charge 
or  bail  for  many.   The  refusal  of  some  of  the  accused  to 
accept  government-appointed  lawyers  has  delayed  tribunal 
proceedings.   At  the  end  of  1987,  about  three-fourths  of  the 
89  cases  initially  slated  for  trial  by  the  civil  disturbances 
special  tribunal  had  been  tried.   In  July  a  Kaduna  state  High 
Court  judge  ordered  the  release  of  two  of  those  arrested  on 
grounds  that  the  government  counsel  was  unable  to  produce 
evidence  to  justify  their  arrest  under  the  Civil  Disturbances 
(Special  Tribunal)  Decree  of  1987.   In  August,  44  of  those 
slated  for  trial  engaged  in  a  4-day  hunger  strike  to  protest 
the  pace  of  the  trials,  prison  conditions,  and  being  forced  to 
share  cells  with  convicted  criminals.   The  Federal  Government 
responded  by  transferring  the  convicts  to  other  jails. 

In  1987  the  Government  continued  a  process,  begun  in  1986,  of 
reviewing  the  cases  of  persons  detained  or  convicted  under 
various  decrees  during  the  previous  military  administration 
(1984-85),  many  of  whom  had  already  been  released.   In  June  a 
detainees 's  review  panel  ordered  the  release  of  22  persons 
following  a  review  of  all  outstanding  detentions.   Some  were 
granted  bail,  others  were  either  recommended  for  trial  or  had 
cases  pending  in  court.   The  panel  is  headed  by  the  Attorney 
General,  who  said  the  panel  will  continue  to  meet  periodically. 

In  1987  two  state  governments  released  over  650  suspected 
members  of  the  Maitatsine  religious  sect.   They  had  been 
detained  without  charge  since  uprisings  in  1984  and  1985  in 
Gongola  and  Bauchi  states.   The  state  governments  had  been 
unable  to  prosecute  them  due  to  the  unwillingness  of  witnesses 
to  testify  against  them  in  court.   According  to  the  Gongola 
state  Attorney  General,  the  50  most  dangerous  prisoners  will 
remain  in  detention  indefinitely.   About  100  of  the  detainees 
reportedly  died  of  hunger,  disease,  and  malnutrition  while  in 
prison  custody. 

Still  in  detention  without  charge  since  August  1985  are  former 
military  Head  of  State  (1984-85)  Muhammadu  Buhari  and  his 
Chief  of  Staff  Tunde  Idiagbon.   No  Nigerian  has  been  exiled. 


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Self-exiled  politicians  are  free  to  return  home  with  the 
caveat  that  those  suspected  of  crimes  are  subject  to 
prosecution.   Former  Senate  President  Joe  Wayas  has  been 
detained  without  charge  since  returning  to  Nigeria  in  June 
1987.   A  former  Speaker  of  the  House  of  Representatives  who 
returned  in  December  1986  is  also  in  detention.   A  former 
Minister  of  Commerce  and  Internal  Affairs,  detained  without 
charge  since  his  return  to  Nigeria  in  1986,  was  released  in 
May  1987. 

The  Government  does  not  use  forced  labor  as  a  means  of 
political  coercion  or  as  a  sanction  against  free  expression. 
Nigeria's  1979  Constitution  provides  that  "no  person  shall  be 
required  to  perform  forced  or  compulsory  labor."   The  latter 
excludes  community  service  programs  such  as  the  National  Youth 
Service  Corps  and  environmental  clean-up  campaigns. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  1984  decree  modifying  the  1979  Constitution  left  the 
judiciary  relatively  unscathed,  but  it  shifted  judicial 
activity  for  certain  specified  offenses  to  special  military 
tribunals  that  were  established  outside  the  regular  judicial 
system,  notably  for  corruption  cases(  see  below).   The  regular 
judiciary  is  composed  of  both  Federal  and  state  courts  and 
includes  procedures  for  appeals  from  courts  of  first  instance 
to  parallel  appeal  courts  at  state  levels,  then  to  the  Federal 
Court  of  Appeal  and  finally  to  the  Federal  Supreme  Court. 
Courts  of  first  instance  under  the  1979  Constitution  include 
magistrate  or  district  courts,  customary  or  area  courts, 
religious  or  Shari'a  courts,  and  for  some  specified  cases,  the 
state  high  courts.   In  some  instances  the  nature  of  the  case 
determines  which  court  enjoys  jurisdiction.   In  others,  when 
jurisdiction  is  overlapping  as  in  the  case  of  customary  and 
Shari'a  courts,  the  plaintiff  can  designate  the  court. 
Shari'a,  or  Islamic  courts,  are  limited  by  the  Constitution  to 
the  11  northern  states  of  Nigeria. 

Trials  in  the  regular  court  system  are  public  and  adhere  to 
certain  constitutionally  guaranteed  individual  rights.   These 
include  a  presumption  of  innocence,  the  right  to  be  present  at 
a  public  trial,  to  confront  witnesses  and  present  evidence, 
and  to  be  represented  by  legal  counsel  if  so  desired.   In 
capital  cases,  the  Government  provides  counsel  for  indigent 
defendants.   In  other  cases,  indigents  must  rely  for  counsel 
on  the  Nigerian  Legal  Aid  Society,  which  has  limited  resources, 
Assistance  is  extended  under  the  Legal  Aid  Act  of  1976  to 
persons  with  incomes  of  up  to  $400  per  year.   There  is  a 
functioning  bail  system.   In  his  Independence  Day  speech, 
President  Babangida  announced  that  the  Government  would  ensure 
strict  compliance  with  laws  denying  bail  to  those  charged  with 
murder  and  armed  robbery. 

Through  decrees  promulgated  by  the  previous  military 
government,  but  still  in  effect,  the  AFRC  transferred 
jurisdiction  over  cases  involving  corruption,  currency 
violations,  armed  robbery,  and  a  variety  of  miscellaneous 
offenses,  such  as  drug  trafficking  and  illegal  oil  bunkering, 
from  the  civilian  judicial  system  to  special  military 
tribunals.   In  these  cases,  those  charged  have  access  to  legal 
assistance,  bail  (except  in  the  case  of  armed  robbery),  and 
the  right  to  appeal  (except  in  the  case  of  armed  robbery  and 
conviction  under  the  Civil  Disturbances  Decree).   Civilian 
judges  head  all  special  tribunals  even  though  military  members 
may  be  included.   Currently  six  special  tribunals  including  a 


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Special  Appeal  Tribunal  are  in  operation.   Convictions  for 
armed  robbery  by  the  Special  Robbery  and  Firearms  Tribunals 
carry  the  death  sentence  and  no  right  of  appeal,  although  the 
sentence  must  be  confirmed  in  some  states  by  state  military 
governors  or  the  Minister  of  the  Federal  Capital  Territory 
before  it  is  carried  out.   The  Special  Appeal  Tribunal  began 
its  first  hearing  in  September,  but  no  appeals  were  concluded 
before  the  end  of  the  year.   Recommendations  of  the  Appeal 
Tribunal  are  subject  to  AFRC  confirmation. 

Amnesty  International's  1987  Report  (covering  1986)  gave 
prominent  attention  to  the  activities  of  the  Special  Robbery 
and  Firearms  Tribunals,  noting  the  large  number  of  persons 
sentenced  to  death  and  executed  in  1986  and  the  need  for  an 
appeal  mechanism  to  a  higher  court.   The  judicial  review 
panels  of  1986  recommended  corruption  trials  for  nearly  800 
former  public  officials.   However,  the  two  corruption 
tribunals  created  in  September  1986  to  try  these  suspects  have 
so  far  heard  fewer  than  a  dozen  of  the  pending  cases. 

In  September,  five  defense  attorneys  withdrew  under  protest 
from  the  civil  disturbances  tribunal  proceedings  on  the  March 
religious  riots.   The  lawyers,  who  were  jointly  defending  67 
people,  claimed  they  were  being  denied  regular  access  to  their 
clients  and  accused  the  judges  of  partiality.   The  Trial 
Lawyers  Association  of  Nigeria  has  offered  free  legal  service 
to  the  accused  persons  who  have  rejected  government-appointed 
counsel.   The  accused  have  no  right  of  appeal,  and  the  AFRC 
must  confirm  all  sentences. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Nigerian  society  is  generally  free  of  arbitrary  interference 
by  the  State  in  the  private  lives  of  its  citizens.   Provisions 
of  the  1979  Constitution  still  in  force  guarantee  rights  of 
privacy  in  the  home,  correspondence,  and  oral  electronic 
communications.   General  surveillance  of  the  population  by  the 
State  is  not  practiced.   In  April  police  reportedly  searched 
the  homes  of  some  members  of  the  government-appointed  Political 
Bureau,  during  investigations  into  the  unauthorized  leak  to  the 
press  of  the  Bureau's  report.   No  Bureau  members  were  arrested 
or  detained.   Forced  entry  into  homes  without  a  warrant  rarely 
occurs . 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  modified  1979  Constitution  provides  for  freedom  of 
expression  and  the  press.   Political,  social,  and  economic 
issues  are  openly  discussed.   However,  officials  frequently 
caution  journalists  both  publicly  and  privately  on  their 
responsibility  and  the  extent  of  press  freedom.   In  addition, 
in  1987  the  Government  took  actions  against  a  number  of 
publishers  and  journalists  to  limit  news  reporting  that  is 
critical  of  government  policies.   Academic  freedom  is 
generally  respected. 

The  1979  Constitution  reserves  to  the  Federal  and  state 
governments  the  exclusive  right  to  own  and  operate  radio  and 
television  stations.   There  are  no  restrictions  on  ownership 
of  print  media,  and  Nigeria  has  a  lively  press.   Among  the 
vast  array  of  Nigerian  daily  newspapers  are  seven  privately 
owned  national  dailies  with  large  circulations,  one  daily 


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owned  by  the  Federal  Government,  and  another  in  which  the 
Federal  Government  owns  a  majority  share.   Some  states  operate 
their  own  daily  newspapers.   In  some  states  privately  owned 
dailies  compete  with  state  papers.   Four  weekly  newsmagazines 
vie  for  national  readership. 

On  several  occasions  in  1987  Federal  and  state  authorities 
interrogated,  jailed,  or  fired  editors  and  reporters  of 
government-owned  papers  on  grounds  that  they  had  published 
articles  inconsistent  with  official  policy  or  otherwise 
embarrassing  to  the  Government.   Triggering  these  actions  were 
items  such  as  a  two-page  paid  advertisement  charging  government 
security  forces  with  bias  in  handling  the  March  religious 
riots,  an  erroneously  reported  trip  abroad  by  the  President's 
wife,  and  an  editorial  critical  of  the  Federal  Government's 
removal  of  two  leading  directors  of  government-controlled 
banks  who  objected  to  central  bank  policies. 

In  April  President  Babangida  pledged  not  to  revive  Decree  4,  a 
curb  on  the  press  imposed  by  the  previous  military  Government. 
However,  later  in  the  year  the  President  prohibited  any 
attempts  by  the  media  to  give  publicity  to  those  banned  from 
elective  office  and  to  those  advocating  creation  of  new  states 
in  Nigeria. 

The  1979  Constitution  includes  a  provision  aimed  at  preventing 
disclosure  of  confidential  information  harmful  to  national 
security.   Citing  national  security  among  its  reasons,  the 
Government  closed  for  5  months  a  leading  weekly  newsmagazine, 
Newswatch,  and  briefly  detained  three  of  its  editors  for 
publishing  excerpts  of  the  then-classified  Political  Bureau 
report  on  Nigeria's  political  future.   The  editors  publicly 
apologized  and  stated  they  had  not  intended  to  embarrass  the 
Government.   They  were  not  prosecuted. 

During  1987  the  Government  made  several  other  moves  aimed  at 
curbing  what  it  considers  media  irresponsibility  with  national 
security  implications.   It  impounded  an  issue  of  a  privately 
owned  newsweekly  for  criticizing  the  firing  of  the  bank 
officials,  continued  to  require  official  authorization  prior 
to  press  interviews  of  civil  servants,  limited  the  quantity  of 
religious  broadcasting  on  television  and  radio  (all  government 
owned)  following  religious  rioting,  and  prohibited  publication 
of  advertisements  paid  for  by  religious  organizations.   A 
military  tribunal  hearing  a  corruption  case  against  a  former 
politician  acquitted  the  publisher,  editor,  and  reporter  of  a 
leftwing  magazine  of  contempt  for  publishing  an  article 
tribunal  authorities  had  considered  prejudicial  to  the 
tribunal.   In  October  Federal  security  authorities  temporarily 
prevented  publication  of  a  book  about  the  life  of  a  prominent 
newsmagazine  editor  killed  by  a  letter-bomb  in  1986. 

b.   Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Although  Nigeria's  1979  Constitution  assures  all  citizens  the 
right  to  assemble  freely  and  to  associate  with  other  persons 
in  political  parties,  trade  unions,  or  other  special  interest 
associations,  in  practice,  there  are  important  exceptions. 
The  provision  regarding  the  right  to  form  and  join  political 
parties  was  suspended  by  Decree  9  of  1984.   This  Decree  also 
authorizes  the  Government  to  dissolve  or  ban  any  other  group 
considered  to  have  objectives  similar  to  those  of  a  political 
party.   Police  monitor  gatherings  suspected  of  violating  the 
ban.   Government  officials  frequently  reminded  Nigerians 
during  1987  of  the  continuing  ban  on  political  activity  but 


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did  not  dissolve  any  other  organizations  despite  widespread 
allegations  that  an  organization  formed  by  a  group  of  northern 
elders  had  objectives  similar  to  those  of  a  political  party. 
The  Government  announced  in  June  that  political  activity  and 
the  formation  of  political  parties,  limited  to  two,  will 
resume  in  1989. 

Nigerians  form  and  participate  in  a  myriad  of  special  interest 
organizations,  including  a  wide  range  of  religious  groups, 
trade  groups,  women's  organizations,  and  professional 
associations.   Organizations  are  not  required  to  register  with 
the  Government.   However,  following  the  March  religious 
disturbances,  the  Government  introduced  a  requirement  that 
religious  groups  be  sanctioned  by  either  the  Christian 
Association  of  Nigeria,  in  the  case  of  Christian  groups,  or 
the  Supreme  Council  for  Islamic  Affairs,  in  the  case  of  Muslim 
groups.   Permits  are  not  normally  required  for  public  meetings 
unless  the  venue  is  outdoors  in  a  government  facility  and 
police  security  would  be  appropriate.   In  most  states  open-air 
religious  services,  outside  a  church  or  a  mosque,  are 
prohibited. 

The  National  Association  of  Nigerian  Students  (NANS)  has  been 
banned  since  nationwide  student  demonstrations  in  May  1986. 
However,  in  December  1986  the  Government  authorized  individual 
campuses  to  reinstitute  student  organizations.   In  May  1987, 
police  were  deployed  to  forestall  a  news  conference  scheduled 
by  NANS  to  commemorate  the  previous  year's  demonstrations. 
Earlier  the  Inspector-General  of  Police  had  broadcast  a 
reminder  to  students  that  the  ban  on  NANS  demonstrations  and 
meetings  was  still  in  force.   The  police  also  published  new 
guidelines  for  handling  campus  disturbances  to  avoid 
fatalities  such  as  occurred  in  1986. 

All  Nigerian  workers  16  years  or  older  may  join  trade  unions, 
with  the  exception  of  members  of  the  armed  forces  and 
designated  employees  of  essential  government  services  at  the 
Federal,  state,  and  local  levels.   Employers  are  obliged  to 
recognize  trade  unions  and  must  pay  a  dues  checkoff  for 
employees  who  are  members  of  a  registered  trade  union.   The 
establishment  of  closed  shops  is  prohibited.   About  10  percent 
of  the  3  million  nonfarm  work  force  claims  union  membership, 
and  the  unions  constitute  a  strong  bargaining  force  for  worker 
rights.   With  the  ban  on  political  parties  still  in  force, 
unions  have  been  cautious  not  to  assume  the  role  of  a 
political  party,  but  labor  leaders  have  spoken  out  both  in 
support  and  criticism  of  government  labor  policies.   However, 
in  response  to  a  labor-led  campaign  against  the  Government's 
stated  intention  to  eliminate  or  reduce  petroleum  subsidies, 
about  30  officials  of  the  Nigeria  Labour  Congress,  including 
its  President,  were  detained  without  charges  for  8  days  in 
mid-December.   Although  the  Government  threatened  to  charge 
them  with  subversion,  all  were  released  unconditionally. 

Despite  provisions  in  the  1979  Constitution  and  Nigeria's 
ratification  of  28  International  Labor  Organization  (ILO) 
conventions,  government  decrees  and  policy  continue  to 
restrict  certain  labor  freedoms.   A  1978  decree  created  a 
single  central  labor  body,  the  Nigeria  Labour  Congress  (NLC), 
forcibly  merged  a  number  of  unions  into  42  industrial  unions, 
and  deregistered  all  other  unions.   The  Government  has  not 
responded  to  a  1982  ILO  committee  of  experts  finding  that  this 
decree  violates  ILO  Convention  87  on  Freedom  of  Association 
and  Protection  of  the  Right  to  Organize.   The  1978  decree  also 
created  senior  staff  associations  to  represent  white-collar 


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workers,  which  a  1986  decree  explicitly  excluded  from  NLC 
membership,  forcing  two  such  associations  to  withdraw.   Since 
1975  government  policy  has  permitted  international  labor 
affiliation  only  with  the  ILO  and  the  Organization  of  African 
Trade  Union  Unity  and  its  affiliated  pan-African  labor 
federations.   Government  policy  does  permit,  however,  informal 
"fraternal  relations"  with  foreign  unions  and  secretariats. 

The  labor  laws  of  Nigeria  permit  collective  bargaining  between 
management  and  trade  unions.   However,  a  series  of  restrictive 
measures  imposed  by  the  Government  have  significantly  reduced 
the  range  of  issues  left  for  bargaining.   In  February  1987, 
the  National  Economic  Emergency  Decree  of  1985,  which  granted 
the  Federal  Government  broad  authority  over  labor  matters,  was 
extended  for  2  more  years.   The  Government  transferred  to 
state  governments  the  power  to  deduct  special  levies 
involuntarily  from  the  salaries  of  workers  for  financing  state 
development  projects.   The  nationwide  wage  freeze,  an 
anti-inflation  measure,  was  imposed  in  1984  and  lifted  in 
1987.   Also,  in  1987  the  Government  reestablished  the 
requirement,  in  the  Minimum  Wage  Act,  that  the  minimum  wage 
must  be  paid  to  employees  in  companies  with  50  or  more 
employees.   (It  had  amended  the  Act  in  1986  to  require  the 
minimum  wage  scale  only  in  companies  with  more  than  500 
employees . ) 

Work  stoppages  and  strikes  are  allowed  by  law  (except  in 
essential  services),  but  few  occurred  during  1987.   In  June 
seven  public  service  unions  representing  civil  service 
employees  of  Bendel  state  went  on  strike  because  the  state 
government  was  not  meeting  its  financial  obligations  to  its 
employees  and  retirees.   The  NLC  supported  the  striking  civil 
servants,  and  the  Federal  Government  moved  quickly  to  achieve 
a  settlement.   In  October  some  40  petroleum  workers  seized 
control  of  an  offshore  oil  rig  and  locked  their  expatriate 
supervisors  in  their  quarters  for  2  days  because  their 
employer,  a  Nigerian  company,  had  refused  to  turn  over  union 
dues  to  union  representatives.   The  dispute  was  defused 
without  government  intervention  when  management  agreed  to 
accept  the  demands  of  the  workers.   The  1976  Trade  Disputes 
Decree  provides  for  mediation  of  such  disputes  by  an 
industrial  arbitration  panel  and  a  national  industrial  court, 
and  forbids  strikes  and  lockouts  while  disputes  are  under 
mediation. 

c.   Freedom  of  Religion 

Nigeria's  1979  Constitution  prohibits  the  Federal  and  state 
governments  from  adopting  any  religion  as  a  state  religion. 
This  is  adhered  to  in  practice.   Constitutional  provisions 
guaranteeing  freedom  of  religious  belief,  religious  practice, 
and  religious  education  are  generally  respected.   Allegations 
persist  of  harassment  of  Christians  by  officials  in 
predominantly  Muslim  areas  of  northern  Nigeria  in  the  form  of 
bureaucratic  obstacles  to  church  construction  that  delay 
projects,  sometimes  indefinitely.   There  are  no  restrictions 
on  numbers  of  clergy  trained  nor  on  contacts  with 
coreligionists  in  other  countries.   Religious  travel, 
including  the  hajj,  is  permitted  and  in  some  cases  officially 
supported.   Missionaries  and  foreign  clergy,  though  limited  by 
quotas,  are  permitted  to  work  in  Nigeria.   Some  states  require 
licenses  for  religious  services  outside  churches  and  mosques. 

Tensions  between  the  Muslim  and  Christian  communities  of 
Nigeria  escalated  in  March  1987  to  several  days  of  violent 


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rioting  in  the  northern  state  of  Kaduna .   The  Government 
announced  a  death  toll  of  19,  along  with  the  destruction  of 
162  churches,  5  mosques,  and  152  private  homes.   The  Government 
created  a  special  civil  disturbances  tribunal  to  try  persons 
arrested  by  a  joint  police-military  investigative  panel.   The 
Government  also  announced  a  ban,  still  in  effect,  on  all 
religious  organizations  on  postprimary  campuses,  while 
reaffirming  the  right  of  individual  students  to  practice  their 
religion  in  recognized  places  of  worship.   Several  state 
governments  temporarily  banned  religious  preaching  and  playing 
of  religious  cassettes  outside  places  of  worship  without  the 
written  permission  of  police.   Publication  of  advertisements 
paid  for  by  religious  organizations  remains  banned,  and 
religious  programming  on  radio  and  television  remains  limited 
in  some  areas.   The  Minister  of  Internal  Affairs  announced 
that  no  new  religious  organizations  could  be  formed  without 
approval  from  one  of  two  designated  religious  bodies,  one 
Muslim  and  one  Christian.   In  July  the  Government  launched  an 
advisory  council  on  religious  affairs,  comprised  of  equal 
numbers  of  Christian  and  Muslim  leaders. 

The  1982  ban  on  the  Maitatsine  religious  sect  remains  in 
effect.   The  group  still  exists  but  is  closely  monitored  by 
the  police. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Nigeria's  Constitution  entitles  citizens  to  move  freely 
throughout  Nigeria  and  to  reside  where  they  wish.   The  same 
provision  prohibits  expulsion  from  Nigeria  or  the  denial  of 
entry  to  or  exit  from  Nigeria  to  any  citizen.   In  general, 
these  provisions  have  been  observed.   Nigerians  travel  abroad 
in  large  numbers,  and  many  thousands  are  studying  abroad. 
Exit  visas  are  not  required.   Citizens  who  leave  Nigeria  have 
the  right  to  return.   Citizenship  cannot  be  revoked  for  any 
reason,  including  political  reasons,  from  persons  who  are 
citizens  by  birth  or  registration.   Fifty-seven  naturalized 
Nigerians,  however,  had  their  citizenship  revoked  in  1987  for 
alleged  irregularities  in  the  naturalization  process.   No 
known  penalties  have  been  levied  on  Nigerians  who  have 
emigrated,  settled  abroad,  or  acquired  another  nationality. 
However,  Nigeria  does  not  recognize  dual  nationality,  and 
naturalization  in  another  country  does  not  release  Nigerians 
from  Nigerian  laws. 

Nigerians  are  free  to  change  their  place  of  work  within 
Nigeria,  but  local  laws  sometimes  disadvantage  citizens  not 
indigenous  to  the  area.   For  example,  access  to  limited  places 
in  elementary  and  secondary  schools  is  more  difficult  for 
children  of  such  citizens  who  must  also  pay  higher  school  fees 
than  the  children  of  citizens  of  the  area.   There  has  been  no 
forced  resettlement  of  Nigerian  citizens. 

Nigerian  law  and  practice  permit  temporary  refuge  and  asylum 
in  Nigeria  for  political  refugees  from  other  countries. 
Nigeria  supports  and  cooperates  with  the  Lagos  office  of  the 
United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  (UNHCR) . 
Repatriation  of  refugees  is  normally  conducted  in  accordance 
with  UNHCR  standards.   In  1987  several  hundred  Chadian 
refugees  were  repatriated  at  their  request  as  were  an 
undetermined  number  of  persons  allegedly  refugees  from  Libya. 
No  refugees  were  expelled  in  1987. 


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Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  30-member  Armed  Forces  Ruling  Council  headed  by  President 
Babangida  is  the  highest  political  authority  in  Nigeria. 
There  is  no  elected  legislative  body,  and  political  parties 
are  prohibited.   In  1987  citizens  did  not  have  the  right  to 
change  their  national  or  state  governments  through  the 
electoral  process.   However,  democratic  elections  for  local 
government  officials  were  held  in  December. 

In  July  President  Babangida  announced  1992  as  the  date  for 
returning  Nigeria  to  civilian  rule.   The  Government  based  its 
program  for  transition  to  civilian  rule  on  the  recommendations 
of  the  civilian  Political  Bureau  which  conducted  a  nationwide, 
year-long  public  debate  on  Nigeria's  political  future  during 
1986  and  presented  its  findings  to  the  AFRC  in  April  1987. 
While  many  of  the  Bureau's  recommendations  were  accepted,  the 
Government  rejected  or  amended  many  other  significant 
provisions,  especially  on  socioeconomic  policy.   An  appointed 
civilian  Constitutional  Review  Commission  is  expected  to 
propose  to  the  1988  constituent  assembly  a  draft  constitution 
closely  resembling  Nigeria's  1979  Constitution.   The  Government 
has  recommended  incorporation  of  one  major  change  which  calls 
for  a  two-party  rather  than  a  multiparty  system.   Six  political 
parties  participated  in  the  last  elections  in  1983. 

As  a  first  step  in  the  transition  process,  free  elections  for 
local  government  councils  were  held  on  a  nonpartisan  basis  in 
December,  although  malpractices  and  administrative  problems 
resulted  in  cancellation  of  elections  in  about  5  percent  of 
the  nation's  constituencies.   Byelections  are  planned  for 
early  1988.   All  citizens  18  years  and  older  were  eligible  to 
vote.   Dates  have  been  set  for  additional  elections  in  the 
run-up  to  1992,  but  many  former  politicians  are  banned  from 
contesting.   A  civilian  National  Electoral  Commission  was 
appointed  in  August  to  administer  the  elections.   Also,  a 
civilian  Constitutional  Review  Committee  (CRC)  was  appointed 
to  review  the  1979  Constitution.   The  CRC  solicited  input  from 
the  general  public,  as  had  the  civilian  Political  Bureau,  as 
the  basis  for  its  recommendations  to  a  constitutional 
constituent  assembly  scheduled  for  1988. 

Thousands  of  former  Nigerian  Government  officials,  both 
civilian  and  military,  are  prohibited  from  participating  in 
the  transition  process,  although  they  remain  eligible  to 
vote.   In  September  1987,  the  Government  significantly 
extended  a  ban  announced  in  1986  on  partisan  political 
activity  for  a  large  number  of  former  politicians  from  the 
last  civilian  regime  (1979-83)  to  include  many  political 
figures  from  the  first  civilian  republic  (1960-66)  and  past 
and  present  high-ranking  military  leaders.   These  persons, 
including  President  Babangida  himself,  will  be  barred  from 
contesting  any  election  until  after  the  transition  is 
completed  in  1992.   Also,  former  politicians  will  be  forbidden 
to  join  any  political  party  until  that  time.   Furthermore,  any 
person  convicted  or  removed  from  office  for  various  misdeeds 
at  any  time  since  1960  will  be  banned  for  life  from  contesting 
elections  or  holding  any  political  party  office. 

Along  with  the  announcement  in  July  of  the  political 
transition  program,  the  Government  promulgated  Decree  19  of 
1987,  the  Transition  to  Civil  Rule  (Political  Programme) 
Decree.   This  Decree  makes  persons  who  might  in  any  way 
forestall  or  prejudice  the  transition  program  liable  to  a 


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prison  term  of  up  to  5  years.   This  applies  to  persons  who: 
seek  to  undermine  the  realization  of  the  transition  program; 
take  part  in  forming  a  political  body  prior  to  the  lifting  of 
Decree  9  (1984);  or  encourage  others  to  join  them  in 
misrepresenting  or  distorting  the  provisions  of  the  transition 
program.   The  special  tribunal  authorized  to  try  offenses 
under  the  Decree  was  formed  in  October.   Its  decisions  may  be 
appealed  to  the  Special  Appeal  Tribunal. 

The  composition  of  the  AFRC  and  Cabinet  reflects  greater 
ethnic  and  religious  diversity  than  any  government  in  the 
recent  past.   There  are  currently  no  women  on  the  AFRC  or  in 
the  Federal  Cabinet,  although  some  women  serve  as  permanent 
secretaries  in  cabinet  departments  and  as  commissioners  in 
state  governments. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

There  were  no  investigations  of  alleged  human  rights 
violations  in  Nigeria  during  1987  by  any  international  or 
nongovernmental  agency.   In  1987  the  Babangida  Government 
repeatedly  renewed  its  pledge  to  uphold  basic  human  rights  and 
tolerated  criticism  from  local  human  rights  advocates.   It  did 
not  interfere  with  local  human  rights  organizations.   The 
Human  Rights  Committee  of  the  Nigerian  Bar  Association  (NBA) 
monitors  the  domestic  human  rights  situation  and 
characteristically  speaks  out  against  human  rights  abuses. 
The  NBA  president,  following  announcement  of  the  ban  on  former 
politicians,  publicly  questioned  the  legality  of  the  move.   At 
least  two  other  groups  also  monitor  human  rights  practices  in 
Nigeria:   The  Council  of  Human  Rights,  an  independent 
organization  formed  in  late  1985,  and  Citizens  for  Human 
Rights.   The  former  president  of  the  NBA  and  chairman  of  its 
Human  Rights  Committee  continues  to  hold  the  post  of  Attorney 
General  and  Minister  of  Justice.   Amnesty  International 
maintains  an  office  in  Lagos  and  has  active  chapters 
throughout  the  country,  both  on  university  campuses  and  among 
civil  servants.   Its  annual  human  rights  report  is  publicized 
in  the  Nigerian  press. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

There  is  no  official  policy  of  systematic  discrimination  among 
Nigeria's  250  ethnic  groups,  and  laws  do  not  overtly  favor  one 
group  over  another.   The  Government  generally  makes  a  conscious 
effort  to  strike  a  balance  among  different  groups  in  its 
decisionmaking  and  in  appointments  to  key  governmental 
positions.   However,  Nigeria  has  a  long  history  of  tension 
among  the  diverse  ethnic  groups,  and  tradition  continues  to 
impose  considerable  pressure  on  individual  government 
officials  to  favor  their  own  ethnic  or  religious  group. 
Allegations  of  religious  and  ethnic  favoritism  or  harassment 
persist . 

State-of-origin  hiring  quotas  are  observed  in  most  public 
sector  employment.   Also,  persons  whose  family  is  not 
indigenous  to  their  state  of  residence  frequently  experience 
difficulty  in  job-seeking,  school  enrollment,  and  other  areas. 

Women  have  always  had  economic  power  and  have  exerted 
influence  in  Nigerian  society  through  women's  councils  or 
through  their  family  connections.   As  primary  school 


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enrollments  increase,  women  are  gaining  greater  access  to 
education.   There  has  been  a  dramatic  increase  in  the  number 
of  women  who  have  university  degrees  and  who  have  become 
professionals,  including  teachers,  lawyers,  doctors,  judges, 
senior  government  officials,  media  figures,  and  business 
executives.   Despite  a  degree  of  economic  independence,  women 
suffer  discrimination  in  employment  and  other  areas, 
experience  social  prejudice,  and  have  virtually  no 
representatives  in  the  political  arena.   The  pattern  of 
discrimination  against  women  varies  according  to  the  ethnic 
and  religious  diversity  of  Nigeria's  vast  population.   In  some 
states,  husbands  can  prevent  their  wives  from  obtaining 
employment  or  passports.   In  many  states,  a  widow  cannot 
inherit  her  husband's  property,  which  in  the  absence  of 
children  usually  reverts  to  the  husband's  family.   Women  do 
not  receive  egual  pay  for  equal  work,  and  male  professionals 
receive  fringe  benefits  not  extended  to  their  female 
counterparts.   Female  circumcision,  which  has  never  become  a 
major  public  issue,  is  still  practiced  in  many  areas,  as  is 
the  selling  of  young  girls  for  marriage  by  poor  rural  families. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Nigeria's  1974  Labor  Decree  prescribes  a  40-hour  workweek,  2 
to  4  weeks  of  annual  leave,  and  other  conditions  of 
employment.   The  National  Minimum  Wage  Act  of  1981  set  the 
national  minimum  wage  at  125  Naira,  or  about  $150,  per  month 
in  1981.   With  the  minimum  wage  remaining  constant,  the 
progressive  devaluation  of  the  local  currency  over  the  past 
several  years  has  resulted  in  a  significant  reduction  in 
workers'  purchasing  power.   The  125  Naira  are  now  equal  to 
about  $27  per  month,  which  is  not  sufficient  to  provide  a 
decent  standard  of  living  and  requires  persons  to  supplement 
income  through  second  jobs,  extended-family  assistance,  etc. 
Under  the  Government  wage  freeze  guidelines  which  were  revised 
on  December  31,  1987,  annual  increases  are  allowed  at  the  1984 
rate,  the  traditional  13th  month  holiday  gratuity  payment  to 
employees  is  allowed,  and  improvements  in  fringe  benefits  in 
the  private  sector  must  be  approved  by  the  Government. 

The  labor  law  prohibits  employment  of  children  under  15  in 
commerce  and  industry,  restricts  other  child  labor  to 
home-based  agricultural  or  domestic  work,  and  allows  the 
apprenticeship  of  youths  aged  13-15  only  under  specified 
conditions.   It  contains  general  health  and  safety  provisions, 
some  aimed  specifically  at  young  and  female  workers, 
enforceable  by  the  Ministry  of  Employment,  Labour,  and 
Productivity.   Employers  must  compensate  injured  workers  and 
dependent  survivors  of  those  fatally  injured  in  industrial 
accidents.   The  ineffectiveness  of  the  Ministry  in  enforcing 
these  laws  in  the  workplace  is  regularly  criticized  by  labor 
unions . 


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Major  General  Juvenal  Habyarimana  has  headed  the  Government 
since  his  accession  to  power  in  a  nonviolent  coup  in  1973.   He 
was  confirmed  as  President  in  a  national  referendum  in  1978. 
He  is  also  the  founder  of  the  single  party,  the  National 
Revolutionary  Movement  for  Development  (MRND) .   Government 
policy  is  set  by  the  President  in  consultation  with  the  party's 
Central  Committee  and  the  Council  of  Ministers.   Laws  are 
ratified  by  the  National  Development  Council  (the  legislature), 
which  was  established  in  1982  but  does  not  have  any  real 
independence  from  the  MRND.   In  December  1983,  President 
Habyarimana,  the  sole  candidate,  was  reelected  along  with  a 
new  slate  of  deputies.   Although  the  legislative  candidates 
had  to  be  approved  by  the  party,  the  race  was  open  to  almost 
all  who  chose  to  run. 

The  major  organizations  responsible  for  administration  of 
justice  include  the  Ministry  of  Justice,  which  controls  the 
courts,  the  judicial  police,  and  the  prison  system;  and  the 
gendarmerie,  a  paramilitary  force  which  receives  specialized 
police  training.   In  addition,  the  Central  Intelligence 
Service  in  the  Office  of  the  President  can  make  certain 
decisions  which  may  not  be  appealed,  such  as  denial  of 
passports  to  Rwandan  citizens  or  the  extension  of  visas  and 
residence  permits  to  foreigners. 

Most  Rwandans  are  poor  rural  farmers.   There  is  little 
industry,  and  imports  are  expensive  because  of  high 
transportation  costs.   Food  production  has  managed  to  keep 
pace  with  the  high  population  growth  rate.   Rwanda's  major 
exports  are  coffee  and  tea,  and  the  Government  has  a  liberal 
approach  to  trade  and  investment. 

Although  the  Constitution  provides  for  a  number  of  fundamental 
human  rights,  there  are  restrictions  in  practice  on  the  right 
to  fair  public  trial,  the  right  of  citizens  to  change  their 
government,  and  freedom  of  speech,  association,  and  religion. 
The  most  significant  human  rights  development  in  1987  was  the 
July  prisoner  amnesty  decreed  by  the  President  during  the 
country's  observance  of  its  25th  anniversary  of  independence. 
The  amnesty  included  the  release  of  all  women  and  minors 
serving  sentences  of  20  years  or  less,  and  of  all  other 
prisoners  sentenced  to  10  years  or  less;  the  commutation  of 
death  sentences  to  life  imprisonment;  and  the  reduction  of 
life  sentences  to  20  years.   However,  none  of  the  amnesty 
measures  applied  to  seven  political  prisoners  convicted  by  the 
Court  of  State  Security  of  crimes  against  domestic  security. 
The  amnesty  also  released  the  295  members  of  certain  religious 
sects,  convicted  in  1986  of  charges  relating  to  observance  of 
their  religion.   The  Government  indicated  that  in  the  future 
it  intends  to  resolve  such  problems  with  religious  groups 
through  discussion  with  those  concerned. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  killings  or 
summary  executions. 


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b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  unexplained  disappearances  in  1987. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

There  were  no  reports  of  torture  in  1987.   In  the  past.  Amnesty 
International  (AI)  has  noted  allegations  of  torture  made  in 
court  by  political  prisoners,  involving  forced  confessions  and 
electrical  shocks,  but  AI  also  noted  the  Minister  of  Justice's 
efforts  to  punish  security  and  police  officials  found  to  have 
mistreated  prisoners. 

The  President  launched  a  prison  reform  program  in  1984  aimed 
at  improving  living  conditions,  providing  vocational  training 
for  prisoners,  and  establishing  work  programs  under  which 
prisoners  earn  money  to  be  credited  to  them  upon  release. 
While  these  programs  have  met  with  success,  prison  conditions 
remain  generally  poor,  and  guard  training  is  inadequate. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Except  for  suspects  caught  in  the  act  of  committing  crimes, 
arrests  are  made  with  a  warrant  following  investigation. 
There  were  no  known  exceptions  in  1987  to  the  legally  mandated 
warrant  procedures.   In  most  cases,  charges  must  be  stated 
formally  in  the  defendant's  presence  within  5  days  of  arrest. 
Failure  to  meet  this  requirement  is  grounds  for  dismissal  of 
the  charges. 

Under  broad  preventive  detention  provisions,  persons  may  be 
held  for  30  days  if  public  safety  is  believed  to  be  threatened, 
if  the  accused  might  flee,  or  if  the  penalty  carries  a  minimum 
sentence  of  6  months.   At  the  end  of  that  period,  a  judicial 
review  is  mandatory,  following  which,  detention  can  be 
prolonged  indefinitely  for  30-day  periods.   These  provisions 
were  rarely  invoked  during  1987.   Detainees  may  appeal  their 
incarceration,  and  the  appeal  must  be  heard  within  24  hours  by 
a  competent  judicial  authority.   Ministry  of  Justice  personnel 
conduct  daily  official  visits  to  prisons  to  assure  that  proper 
documentation  exists  for  each  detainee.   These  officials  can 
release  detainees  if  arrest  conditions  do  not  conform  to  the 
law. 

AI  reports  that  a  former  army  captain  has  been  detained  for  14 
months  without  trial.   The  Minister  of  Justice  informed  AI  that 
the  officer  is  accused  of  subversion,  but  he  gave  no  details 
of  the  allegations.   This  was  the  only  known  detention  for 
political  offenses  in  1987. 

Sentencing  to  exile  does  not  exist.   Forced  labor  is  prohibited 
in  law  and  practice. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  judiciary  is  statutorily  independent  and  expected  to  apply 
the  penal  code  impartially,  but  the  President  appoints  and 
dismisses  magistrates.   Laws  passed  in  1982  strengthened  the 
independence  of  the  judiciary  by  improving  the  process  of 
selecting  judicial  personnel  and  more  closely  defining  their 
functions.   The  administration  of  justice  has  been  hampered  by 
poor  management  and  a  generally  low  level  of  education  among 
civil  servants.   The  Ministry  of  Justice  is  conducting 
training  programs  for  officials  and  judges  and  plans  to 


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establish  a  magistrate  training  center.   In  1987  over  650 
magistrates  participated  in  two  seminars  organized  by  the 
Ministry,  and  another  30  magistrates  took  part  in  a  more 
intensive  9-month  training  program. 

All  defendants  are  constitutionally  entitled  to  counsel,  but 
due  to  a  shortage  of  lawyers  many  defendants  are  not 
represented  at  trial.   Family  and  other  nonprofessional 
counsel  is  permitted.   Trials  are  public,  and  those  which 
arouse  extensive  public  interest  are  often  broadcast  to  the 
street  to  permit  persons  who  cannot  be  seated  in  the  courtroom 
to  follow  the  proceedings. 

Rwanda  has  three  separate  court  systems  for  criminal/civil, 
military,  and  state  security  cases.   All  but  security  cases 
ultimately  may  be  appealed  to  the  Court  of  Appeals.   Convicted 
criminals  must  file  an  appeal  within  3  months  of  the  date  of 
judgment.   In  April  1987,  the  President  criticized  the  practice 
of  some  judges  to  delay  and  back-date  the  issuance  of  court 
opinions,  effectively  eliminating  the  possibility  of  an  appeal. 
He  ordered  the  implementation  of  administrative  procedure  to 
stop  such  abuses.   The  State  Security  Court  has  jurisdiction 
over  national  security  charges  such  as  treason. 

The  Minister  of  Justice  stated  in  September  1986  that  Rwanda 
was  holding  10  prisoners  convicted  of  crimes  against  domestic 
security.   Three  of  these  were  released  in  1987  after 
completing  their  sentences,  leaving  seven  political  prisoners 
at  the  end  of  1987.   This  figure  includes  the  former  chief  of 
State  Security,  who  along  with  four  codefendants  was  convicted 
of  murder  and  sentenced  to  death  in  1985.   The  appeals  process 
in  their  cases  is  still  in  progress,  and  it  is  uncertain 
whether  the  death  sentences  will  be  carried  out.   AI  in  its 
1986  Report  noted  its  concern  that  he  and  other  former 
government  officials  were  tried  in  secret,  apparently  without 
counsel,  and  that  the  trials  did  not  meet  accepted 
international  standards. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Rwandans  are  subject  to  occasional  interference  in  their 
private  lives.   Police  normally  are  required  to  have  warrants 
before  entering  a  private  residence  but,  using  the  pretext  of 
checking  required  documentation,  authorities  can  gain  entry 
into  homes  without  warrants.    There  is  no  evidence  that  the 
Government  monitors  private  correspondence,  and  the  receipt  of 
foreign  publications  is  permitted.   Rwandans  have  the  right  to 
own  property. 

All  Rwandese  are  required  to  be  members  of  the  MRND  and  to  pay 
dues  to  it.  Failure  to  participate  in  the  MRND  was  one  of  the 
charges  made  against  the  religious  sects  in  1986. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Statutory  assurances  of  freedom  of  speech  and  press  often  are 
not  observed.   Public  criticism  of  the  government  ministers 
and  their  dependents  has  increased  this  year,  apparently 
reflecting  the  President's  series  of  unusally  frank  speeches 
critical  of  public  administration,  but  public  criticism  of  the 
military  remains  rare,  and  of  the  President  nonexistent. 
Candidates  in  the  1983  legislative  elections  were  restricted 


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to  expressing  opinions  and  advocating  policies  sanctioned  by 
party  doctrine.  Members  of  the  National  Development  Council 
do  criticize  government  policies  from  the  floor  of  the  Council. 

The  Government  produces  radio  broadcasts,  a  daily  press 
bulletin,  and  a  weekly  newspaper.   Two  Catholic  church 
publications  sometimes  print  muted  criticism  of  political  and 
economic  conditions.   Such  criticism  is  tolerated  and 
occasionally  even  encouraged  by  the  Government.   There  is  no 
record  of  any  journalist  having  been  arrested  for  what  he  has 
written.   The  Government  has  cautioned  the  press,  however,  to 
avoid  what  it  regards  as  "harmful"  criticism  of  leaders  and 
maintains  that  the  press  should  devote  its  efforts  to 
"promoting  development."   Books  and  imported  publications  are 
not  censored,  and  academic  freedom  of  inquiry  and  research  is 
respected  at  the  university. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Freedom  of  assembly  is  limited.   No  public  meetings  or 
demonstrations  are  permitted  if  there  is  any  chance  they  will 
result  in  expressions  of  overt  opposition  to  government 
policies.   The  Government  permits  private  associations,  but 
requires  that  they  be  officially  recognized  nonprofit 
organizations . 

The  Government  is  organizing  a  new  labor  union,  the  Central 
Union  of  Rwandan  Workers  (CESTRAR) .   The  first  training 
session  for  CESTRAR  delegates  was  held  in  August  and  delegates 
urged  the  rapid  implementation  of  the  Union's  organizational 
structure.   The  Union  will  be  integrated  into  the  sole 
political  party,  the  MRND,  although  membership  (open  to  all 
salaried  workers)  will  be  optional.   In  theory,  members  will 
have  the  right  to  strike,  but  only  with  the  approval  of  the 
Executive  Bureau.   Other  workers'  associations  will  no  longer 
have  the  right  to  exist  independently,  but  will  have  to 
affiliate  with  CESTRAR.   Thus,  the  right  to  organize 
"professional  organizations,"  granted  by  the  Rwandan  labor 
code,  and  to  engage  in  collective  bargaining  with  employers 
must  be  exercised  within  the  framework  of  the  central  union. 
CESTRAR's  provisional  organizers  contend  that  having  a  variety 
of  different  labor  organizations  might  threaten  national  unity. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Freedom  of  religion  is  provided  for  in  the  Constitution.   The 
population  is  70  percent  Christian  and  1  percent  Muslim,  with 
the  remainder  following  traditional  African  or  no  religious 
practices.   Eighty  percent  of  the  Christians  are  Roman 
Catholic,  but  there  are  active  Protestant  denominations.   The 
Roman  Catholic  Archbishop  of  Kigali,  who  had  been  a  member  of 
the  MRND  Central  Committee,  resigned  from  the  Committee  in 
January  1986,  apparently  to  bring  his  status  into  accord  with 
Vatican  doctrine.   The  Government  depends  upon  church- 
sponsored  schools  for  a  considerable  portion  of  education  in 
Rwanda  (over  85  percent  of  secondary  schools  are  church 
sponsored) . 

The  Government  has  in  the  past  imprisoned  members  of 
unrecognized  religious  sects,  including  the  Jehovah's 
Witnesses.   In  1987,  however,  the  Government's  attitude  toward 
the  several  religious  sects  improved.   The  President  amnestied 
the  295  members  of  four  sects--including  11  members  aged  18  or 
less--sentenced  in  1986  (in  many  cases  to  10-year  terms)  for 
offenses  related  to  the  observance  of  their  religion.   The 


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Government  indicated  that  in  the  future  it  would  pursue  a 
dialogue  with  such  groups  to  resolve  differences. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Freedom  of  movement  and  residence  within  Rwanda  is  restricted 
by  laws  and  regulations  which  require  people  to  hold  national 
identity  cards  and  residence  and  work  permits.   People  who  wish 
to  spend  more  than  3  days  in  a  township  other  than  their  own 
must  obtain  permission  from  the  authorities  of  the  area  they 
will  be  visiting.   Police  conduct  periodic  checks,  especially 
in  urban  areas,  and  return  all  those  not  registered  in  the 
locality  to  their  own  township.   Property  owners  who  do  not 
require  tenants  to  show  valid  documentation  are  subject  to 
fines  and  even  imprisonment.   "Clandestine"  tenants  are 
subject  to  expulsion. 

A  major  deterrent  to  foreign  travel  was  eliminated  in  1987, 
when  the  Government  abolished  the  requirement  for  posting 
substantial  deposits  (as  much  as  $600)  with  passport 
applications.   Applicants  now  need  only  to  pay  a  small  <$20) 
nonrefundable  fee.   Foreign  travel  is  controlled  by  means  of  a 
security  check  of  all  passport  applicants  conducted  by  the 
Central  Intelligence  Service,  but  unexplained  refusals  appear 
less  frequent  than  in  the  past.   Properly  documented  Rwandans 
may  emigrate. 

Official  policy  permits  people  who  left  Rwanda  as  refugees 
during  the  revolution  or  for  other  reasons  to  be  repatriated 
on  a  case-by-case  basis,  but  the  Government  discourages  any 
mass  return  on  the  grounds  that  the  overpopulated  land  and 
underdeveloped  economy  could  not  sustain  the  burden. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Rwandans  have  no  opportunity  to  change  their  government  through 
a  free  choice  of  alternative  candidates  from  opposing  parties. 
The  MRND,  the  sole  body  permitted  political  activity,  makes 
all  policy  decisions  and  nominates  all  candidates  for  public 
office.   It  in  turn  is  dominated  by  its  President,  who  also 
holds  the  position  of  Secretary-General  of  the  MRND.   He 
chooses  the  Central  Committee  and  is  the  only  constitutionally 
recognized  candidate  for  President.   Every  citizen  is 
automatically  a  party  member  and  is  required  to  pay  party  dues 
representing  2  days'  pay  per  year.   Delegates  are  both  elected 
and  appointed  to  the  party's  governing  National  Congress, 
which  meets  every  2  years.   The  essential  function  of  the 
Congress  is  to  endorse  the  programs  presented  by  the  party 
leadership. 

Only  candidates  approved  by  the  party  may  run  for  the 
legislature,  the  National  Development  Council.   The  President 
also  can  veto  candidates  for  the  Council.   Within  the  one-party 
system,  the  voters  can  and  sometimes  do  defeat  incumbents  in 
elections . 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

Rwanda  has  made  a  concerted  effort  in  recent  years  to 
participate  in  human  rights  activities  and  to  improve  its 
human  rights  record.   There  were  no  reports  of  requests  for 


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outside  investigations  of  alleged  human  rights  violations  in 
1987,  although  the  Government,  before  the  July  amnesty, 
received  many  letters  protesting  the  incarceration  of  members 
of  unrecognized  religious  sects,  particularly  Jehovah's 
Witnesses . 

Representatives  of  the  International  Committee  of  the  Red 
Cross  (ICRC)  made  a  regular  visit  to  prisons  and  spent  3  weeks 
in  Rwanda  in  the  fall  of  1987.   A  delegation  from  AT  visited 
Rwanda  May  3-10,  1986,  and  received  extensive  cooperation  from 
the  Government.   The  delegation  visited  a  number  of  prisons, 
interviewed  prisoners,  including  political  prisoners,  and  met 
with  the  President,  the  Minister  of  Justice,  and  many  other 
officials.   As  a  result  of  this  visit,  AI  submitted  to  the 
Government  its  observations  and  recommendations.   In  December 
1986,  the  Government  responded  with  comments,  referring  to 
safeguards  already  introduced  to  prevent  arbitrary  detention 
and  the  use  of  torture. 

Rwanda  is  a  signatory  to  the  International  Covenants  on 
Economic,  Social  and  Cultural  Rights  and  on  Civil  and 
Political  Rights  and  the  African  Charter  of  Human  and  Peoples' 
Rights.   Rwanda  is  also  a  member  of  the  U.N.  Human  Rights 
Commission. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

In  1959  the  majority  Hutu  ethnic  group  (89  percent  of  the 
population  according  to  the  1978  census)  overthrew  the  monarchy 
of  the  Tutsi  ethnic  group  (10  percent  of  the  population).  In 
1962  the  Belgians  granted  internal  autonomy  and  then 
independence  to  a  Hutu  government  which  had  overwhelmingly  won 
a  U. N . -supervised  election.   This  revolution  against  the  Tutsi 
marked  the  end  of  the  traditional,  feudal  society  in  which  the 
Hutu  had  lived  for  centuries  and  the  beginning  of  a  more  modern 
society  that  places  greater  emphasis  on  individual  rights. 
During  the  next  decade,  Hutu  efforts  to  redress  the  social, 
economic,  and  educational  discrimination  they  had  suffered 
under  Tutsi  rule,  led  to  division  and  corruption  among  the 
Hutus  and  to  sporadic  ethnic  strife.   This  gave  rise  to  the 
coup  d'etat  which  brought  President  Habyarimana,  a  Hutu,  to 
power . 

The  Constitution  states  that  "all  citizens  are  equal  before 
the  law,  without  any  discrimination,  notably  that  of  race, 
color,  origin,  ethnicity,  clan,  sex,  opinion,  religion,  or 
social  position."   However,  the  requirement  that  ethnic  origin 
be  listed  on  identity  documents  helps  to  ensure  that  informal 
quotas  corresponding  to  the  Hutu/Tutsi  ratio  in  society  are 
not  exceeded.   The  Tutsi  minority  has  in  fact  been  relegated 
to  a  minor  role  in  government,  civil  service,  and  the  military 
but  is  better  represented  in  private  business. 

Following  the  Government's  steps  to  restrict  the  activities  of 
some  religious  groups,  there  have  been  indications  of 
discrimination  based  on  religious  affiliation.   For  example, 
one  high  ranking  government  official  reportedly  was  threatened 
with  arrest  because  of  his  membership  in  the  Jehovah's 
Witnesses  sect,  and  three  Witnesses  were  fired  from  the 
Ministry  of  Transport  and  Communication  for  their  religious 
beliefs . 

Women  perform  most  of  the  agricultural  labor  and  have 
benefited  less  than  men  from  social  development.   Despite  the 


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language  in  the  Constitution,  women's  rights  to  property  are 
limited,  and  women  are  not  treated  equally  in  divorce 
proceedings.   Moreover,  women  have  fewer  chances  for  education, 
employment,  and  promotion,  often  because  society  expects  them 
to  remain  in  uneducated,  traditional  roles  at  home.   Family 
planning  services  still  are  inadequate  but  are  improving. 
There  are  few  organizations  promoting  women's  interests,  and 
efforts  to  establish  a  national  women's  organization  within 
the  party  have  been  unsuccessful  to  date.   Women  play  a 
marginal  role  in  political  life.   Nevertheless,  there  are  now 
3  women  in  the  party's  21-member  Central  Committee,  and  9 
women  among  the  70  legislative  deputies.   There  are  also  a 
number  of  women  on  councils  at  the  local  level.   The  Rwandan 
family  code  currently  is  being  revised. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

In  the  wage  sector,  which  comprises  only  7  percent  of  the  work 
force,  children  under  18  are  not  permitted  to  work  without 
their  parents'  or  guardian's  authorization,  and  they  may  work 
at  night  only  under  exceptional  circumstances  on  a  temporary 
basis.   The  Minister  responsible  for  labor  affairs  may  grant 
work  permission  to  a  child  under  14.   He  also  sets  the  minimum 
wage  and  overtime  rates.   The  current  minimum  wage  is 
approximately  $1.50  per  day.   Hours  of  work  and  occupational 
health  and  safety  in  the  modern  wage  sector  are  controlled  by 
law  and  enforced  by  labor  inspectors. 


240 


SAO  TOME  &  PRINCIPE* 


Sao  Tome  and  Principe  has  been  a  one-party  state  since  gaining 
independence  from  Portugal  in  July  1975.   Effective  political 
power  is  concentrated  in  the  Presidency  and  the  party,  the 
Movement  for  the  Liberation  of  Sao  Tome  and  Principe  (MLSTP) . 
The  country  is  composed  of  two  small  islands  off  the  west 
coast  of  Africa  with  a  total  population  of  just  over  100,000. 
At  independence,  Manuel  Pinto  da  Costa,  the  leader  of  the 
MLSTP,  was  chosen  to  be  President  by  the  party  and  the  Popular 
Assembly,  constitutionally  the  supreme  organ  of  state  and 
highest  legislative  body,  in  an  uncontested  election.   The 
party  reconfirmed  him  for  a  third  5-year  term  in  September 
1985. 

There  are  approximately  75  Cuban  technical  advisers,  and  the 
small  Sao  Tomean  army  is  reinforced  by  500  troops  from 
Angola.   Small  opposition  groups  in  exile  in  Portugal  and 
Gabon  have  thus  far  shown  no  evidence  of  being  able  to 
influence  events  on  the  islands. 

In  the  past  the  Government  drew  heavily  on  Marxist-Leninist 
principles,  but  with  a  deteriorating  economic  situation  state 
control  has  been  reduced  and  the  private  sector  strengthened. 
The  steady  decline  in  cocoa  exports,  which  account  for  90 
percent  of  Sao  Tome's  exports,  reflected  both  lower  world 
prices  and  serious  management  problems  on  the  nationalized 
plantations.   Inadequate  rainfall  since  1983  has  further 
reduced  the  production  of  all  crops,  resulting  in  serious  food 
shortages  and  the  need  for  food  assistance  from  the  United 
States  and  other  Western  countries.   President  da  Costa 
reaffirmed  in  July  1987  the  determination  of  his  Government 
to  follow  rigorous  International  Monetary  Fund  reform 
prescriptions  in  an  effort  to  reinvigorate  the  flagging 
economy. 

There  was  little  known  change  in  the  overall  human  rights 
situation  in  1987.   However,  President  da  Costa  announced  in 
July  that  local  cooperatives  and  professional  associations 
could  now  nominate  candidates  for  election  to  the  Popular 
Assembly.   This  move  could  modestly  widen  political 
participation  within  the  one-party  system. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  killings. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  politically  motivated  disappearance. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

No  reports  of  such  abuses  were  received  in  1987. 


*There  is  no  American  Embassy  in  Sao  Tome.   Information  on  the 
human  rights  situation  is  therefore  limited. 


241 


SAO  TOME  &  PRINCIPE 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Although  in  the  past  some  Sao  Tomeans  have  been  arrested  and 
detained  without  trial  for  public  criticism  of  the  Government, 
there  were  no  reports  of  such  abuses  in  1987. 

According  to  the  Government,  the  several  opposition  politicians 
living  in  exile,  e.g.,  former  Prime  Minister  Miguel  Trovoada, 
and  former  Minister  of  Health  Carlos  da  Graca  (see  Section  3), 
are  free  to  return. 

In  March  1987,  UNICEF's  representative  in  Sao  Tome  was 
arrested  by  Sao  Tomaen  security  forces  and  charged  with  the 
murder  of  his  wife.   Consular  representatives  of  the  arrested 
official's  country  were  denied  access  to  him,  and  repeated 
protests  by  high  United  Nations  officials  were  ignored;  other 
U.N.  officials  who  tried  to  visit  the  UNICEF  official  were 
roughed  up.   The  official  was  released  in  May  1987  after 
high-level  intervention  by  his  Government. 

There  have  been  no  reports  of  the  use  of  forced  labor. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Justice  is  administered  at  the  highest  level  by  the  Supreme 
Tribunal,  named  by  and  responsible  to  the  Popular  Assembly. 
Lower  tribunals  are  appointed  to  try  military  cases. 

The  Constitution  does  not  address  the  right  to  a  public  trial, 
but  there  have  been  instances  of  public  trials  of  persons 
accused  of  common  crimes  in  recent  years.   Criminal  trials  are 
occasionally  reported  by  the  local  media.   In  most  cases, 
however,  common  criminals  are  given  a  hearing  and  are 
sentenced  by  a  judge.   To  date,  the  only  political  prisoners 
given  trials  were  those  accused  of  plotting  a  coup  in  1977. 
In  those  trials  and  in  criminal  trials  since  that  time,  the 
accused  were  assigned  counsel  by  the  Government.   There  is  no 
tradition  of  independent  defense  counsel. 

As  of  the  end-  of  1987,  the  Government  claimed  that  it  held  no 
political  prisoners. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

Because  of  Sao  Tome's  geographic  isolation  and  its  small 
population,  the  Government  does  not  have  a  highly  intrusive 
security  system  to  detect  opposition  opinion.   However,  the 
Government's  loosely  organized  system  of  informers  and  its 
monitoring  of  political  activities  ensure  that  potential 
dissidents  are  identified. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  security  services  are  alert  and  react  quickly  to  public 
expressions  of  opposition  or  dissatisfaction  with  the 
Government.   All  Sao  Tomean  media  are  government  organs.   They 
consist  of  one  television  station  which  broadcasts  2  days  per 
week;  a  radio  station  which  carries  music,  government  news 
releases,  and  instructional  programs;  and  a  weekly  two-to-four 
page  newspaper  of  government  news  releases.   No  public  written 
criticism  of  the  Government  seems  to  be  tolerated,  but  oral 
criticism  at  party-sponsored  meetings  exists.   The  only 


242 


SAO  TOME  &  PRINCIPE 

foreign  wire  service  items  are  occasional  pieces  from  Soviet 
and  Angolan  sources.   Voice  of  America  Portuguese  language 
programs  reach  Sao  Tome  and  are  listened  to  without 
interference.   Sao  Tome  Radio  also  uses  VGA  taped  music 
programs . 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

In  the  past,  political  assembly  and  activity  were  legal  only 
within  the  country's  sole  political  party,  the  MLSTP. 
Recently,  however,  President  da  Costa  announced  that  Sao 
Tomaens  could  form  cooperative  and  professional  associations 
unaffiliated  with  the  party,  and  that  such  organizations  could 
nominate  candidates  for  election  to  the  Popular  Assembly. 
Cultural  and  social  organizations  require  government  approval, 
which  is  believed  to  be  easily  obtained. 

The  sole  trade  union,  affiliated  with  the  party,  exists  mainly 
on  paper.   There  is  no  explicit  legislation  forbidding  strikes, 
but  it  is  doubtful  that  strikes  would  be  permitted  by  the 
Government.   There  is  no  information  currently  available  on 
whether  collective  bargaining  is  legally  permitted. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Religious  freedom  is  guaranteed  by  the  Constitution.   The 
three  religious  communit ies--Roman  Catholic,  Evangelical 
Protestant,  and  Seventh-Day  Adventist-are  allowed  to  practice 
freely.   The  Government  provides  some  funding  for  a  school  and 
a  social  services  center  managed  by  the  Catholic  Church. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

The  geographic  isolation  and  poverty  of  the  country  severely 
limit  foreign  travel  and  emigration.   In  addition,  the 
Government  closely  controls  exit  visas  for  the  few  people  who 
travel.   Almost  all  trips  outside  the  islands  are  for 
governmental  missions  or  medical  evacuation.   Domestic  travel 
is  not  controlled  by  the  Government,  and  people  move  freely  on 
the  islands  of  Sao  Tome  and  Principe.   The  lack  of  reliable 
and  affordable  air  service  severely  limits  interisland  travel. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:  The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  present  political  system  makes  no  provision  for  change  of 
government  through  the  electoral  process.   Government  policy 
is  determined  by  President  da  Costa,  in  consultation  with  his 
key  cabinet  and  security  officials.   The  leadership  uses  the 
MLSTP  to  consolidate  its  rule  at  the  local  level  and  to  assist 
in  selecting  candidates  for  the  Popular  Assembly. 
Nevertheless,  President  da  Costa  has  embarked  on  a  political 
opening  intended  to  widen  the  political  debate  on  the  island 
and  encourage  participation.   He  has  called  for  the  formation 
of  local  cooperatives  and  professional  associations--without 
stipulating  that  the  organizations  be  affiliated  with  the 
party--and  announced  that  such  organizations  will  be  permitted 
to  nominate  candidates  for  election  to  the  Popular  Assembly. 
Recent  constitutional  changes  stipulate  that  the  President  and 
Members  of  the  Popular  Assembly  are  to  be  elected  through 
universal  suffrage  and  that  voting  will  be  done  by  secret 
ballot. 


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SAO  TOME  &  PRINCIPE 

There  are  small  exile  groups  in  Portugal  and  Gabon.   In  May 
1986,  former  Minister  of  Health  Carlos  da  Graca  resigned  the 
chairmanship  of  the  National  Resistance  Front  of  Sao  Tome  and 
Principe  (FRNSTP)  based  in  Libreville,  saying  that  the  recent 
economic  liberalization  by  the  Government  and  its  opening  to 
moderate  African  states  made  his  further  leadership  of  the 
FRNSTP  unnecessary.   Da  Graca  said  he  would  remain  in  exile 
until  Angolan  troops  withdrew  from  the  country. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights. 

The  extent  to  which  the  Government  is  aware  of,  or  influenced 
by,  international  human  rights  organizations  is  not  known.   On 
May  23,  1986,  Sao  Tome  and  Principe  ratified  the  African 
Charter  on  Human  and  Peoples'  Rights. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

The  Sao  Tome  population  is  relatively  homogeneous,  and  there 
have  been  no  reports  of  policy  discrimination  on  a  tribal, 
regional,  sex,  or  religious  basis  among  Sao  Tomean  citizens. 
As  energetic  outsiders.  Cape  Verdeans  in  Sao  Tome  do  suffer 
some  informal  discrimination. 

Women  have  constitutional  assurances  of  eguality,  and  several 
are  active  in  public  life.   The  President  of  the  Popular 
(National)  Assembly  is  a  woman.   There  are  at  least  two  female 
members  of  the  Central  Committee  of  the  party.   Cultural 
factors,  rather  than  legal  restraints,  limit  the  actual 
participation  of  women  in  government. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Legislation  requires  that  a  minimum  wage  of  approximately  $55 
per  month  be  paid  to  workers.   There  were  reports  that  workers 
at  several  cocoa  estates  were  not  paid  for  several  months  or 
did  not  receive  the  minimum  wage  for  an  extended  period  of 
time.   A  legal  minimum  employment  age  of  18  years  is  apparently 
observed  in  practice.   Basic  occupational  health  and  safety 
standards  are  contained  in  the  Social  Security  Law  of  1979. 
It  is  not  known  to  what  extent  they  are  enforced. 


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Senegal  is  a  republic  with  a  democratically  elected  president 
and  a  unicameral  legislature.   After  acceding  automatically  to 
the  presidency  in  January  1981,  when  former  President  Senghor 
retired,  Abdou  Diouf  was  elected  in  his  own  right  in  the 
regularly  scheduled  general  elections  of  February  1983.   A  new 
legislature  was  elected  at  the  same  time,  with  President 
Diouf's  Socialist  Party  (PS)  winning  111  of  the  120  seats. 
Senegal  has  longstanding  democratic  traditions  which  predate 
independence,  and  there  is  wide  public  interest  in,  and  debate 
on,  political  matters.   While  Senegal  is  a  multiparty  state 
with  17  legal  political  parties,  the  Socialist  Party  has  been 
dominant  and  controlled  the  Government  since  independence  from 
France  in  1960. 

The  Senegalese  military  (about  12,000  personnel)  has  a 
well-earned  reputation  as  an  apolitical  and  professional 
organization  and  is  respected  by  the  population.   There  are 
also  about  3,000  paramilitary  gendarmes.   Civilian  security 
forces  are  fairly  well  trained  and  generally  respect  the  laws 
they  enforce. 

Although  the  Government  and  the  ruling  party  describe  the 
national  economy  as  Socialist,  recent  economic  reforms  include 
an  effort  by  the  Government  to  reduce  its  involvement  in  many 
sectors  of  the  economy.   This  includes  plans  to  sell  off  all 
or  part  of  most  state-owned  enterprises  and  to  encourage 
private  initiatives  in  agriculture  and  industry.   However, 
wages  have  been  frozen  for  several  years  while  prices  for 
agricultural  products  and  consumer  goods  keep  rising.   As  the 
nation  faces  general  elections  in  February  1988,  there  is 
growing  concern  about  the  political  impact  of  the  economic 
reform  program. 

Trends  in  observance  of  human  rights  remain  generally 
positive.   The  legal  system  is  active  and  effective  in 
protecting  human  rights.   Concerns  remain  about  the  impact  of 
the  electoral  laws  on  the  fairness  of  the  election  process. 
The  Government  continues  to  provide  strong  support  to 
Dakar-based  and  regional  organizations  which  promote  respect 
for  human  rights  in  Africa  and  the  Third  World.   In  the 
southernmost  region  of  Casamance,  a  small,  armed,  ethnic-based 
separatist  group  intermittently  engages  in  various  clandestine 
activities  and  sporadically  attacks  military  personnel.   At 
the  end  of  1987,  three  persons  who  were  arrested  in  late  1986 
for  involvement  in  Casamance  unrest  awaited  trial  before  the 
Security  Court.   Over  140  others  who  had  been  detained  were 
released  without  charge. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  was  no  evidence  of  any  killings  at  government  instigation 
or  for  political  motives. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  abduction  of  individuals  by  official, 
quasi-official,  opposition,  or  vigilante  groups. 


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c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

Government  officials  in  Senegal  generally  adhere  to  the 
section  of  the  criminal  code  prohibiting  physical  abuse. 
There  are,  however,  instances  of  the  use  of  force  by  police 
officials  in  the  interrogation  of  suspected  criminals.   In 
April  seven  policemen  were  found  guilty  of  complicity  in  the 
1983  death  of  a  suspect  from  beating.   When  other  policemen 
went  on  strike  to  demand  the  Government  release  their 
colleagues,  the  Government  reacted  firmly,  emphasizing  that 
the  courts  were  independent  of  the  administration  and  were 
correctly  applying  the  law.   Family  members  claim  that  a  delay 
in  access  to  the  detainee  prevented  him  from  receiving  timely 
medical  care  which  might  have  saved  his  life. 

In  its  1987  Report,  Amnesty  International  stated  that,  in 
connection  with  the  separatist  riots  in  Casamance  in  1982  and 
1983,  a  number  of  those  brought  to  trial  were  alleged  to  have 
been  tortured  or  ill-treated  after  arrest  and  that  at  least 
seven  prisoners  died  before  the  trial.   However,  no  formal 
inquiries  into  the  allegations  or  inquests  were  undertaken  by 
the  authorities,  who  assert  that  no  complaints  were  received 
from  either  friends  or  family  of  those  allegedly  tortured. 
There  have  been  no  criminal  or  civil  suits  resulting  from  the 
Casamance  disorders. 

Harsh  prison  conditions  are  partly  alleviated  by  the  access  to 
prisoners  by  clerics,  friends,  and  families,  who  are  expected 
to  provide  food  and  amenities. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

The  constitutional  prohibition  against  arbitrary  arrest  or 
detention  is  respected  in  practice.   Persons  are  not  generally 
detained,  punished,  or  tried  for  the  expression  of  views 
critical  of  or  different  from  the  Government.   There  are, 
however,  laws  prohibiting  personal  attacks  against  the  Chief 
of  State  or  the  institutions  of  the  Republic.   The  major 
opposition  political  leader  was  charged  in  March  under  these 
provisions  for  comments  he  made  in  an  interview  in  August 
1985.   He  was  immediately  released  on  bond,  and  his  case  is 
still  pending.   He  has  remained  politically  active  in  the 
meantime. 

The  Senegalese  legal  system  is  patterned  after  the  French 
system.   A  person  suspected  of  a  crime  may  be  legally  held 
without  charge  for  48  hours  after  arrest  and  may  be  held  up  to 
72  hours  if  ordered  by  a  public  prosecutor.   Temporary 
custody,  which  replaced  "preventive  custody"  in  1985,  is 
permitted  when  civil  authorities  determine  that  there  is  a 
threat  of  civil  disturbance  or  that  an  individual  is  a  threat 
to  himself  or  others.   Temporary  custody  is  initially  valid 
for  a  maximum  period  of  6  months  but  may  be  renewed  for 
further  6  month  periods  if  the  investigating  magistrate 
certifies  that  additional  time  is  required  to  complete  the 
investigation.   These  laws  are  generally  respected  by  law 
enforcement  officials,  and  charges  are  formally  and  clearly 
drawn.   By  law,  every  person  has  access  to  legal  counsel 
during  every  step  of  the  legal  process.   In  practice,  persons 
with  means  will  have  private  legal  counsel.   The  court 
appoints  public  defenders  for  indigents  charged  with  felonies. 

Amnesty  International  stated  in  its  1987  Report  that  further 
arrests  took  place  in  the  Casamance  region  in  November  and' 


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SENEGAL 

December  1986.   At  the  end  of  1987,  three  persons  were 
awaiting  trial  for  separatist  activities  conrimitted  in  1986. 

There  is  no  forced  or  compulsory  labor  in  Senegal. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Senegal  has  an  active  and  well-trained  judiciary,  which  is 
constitutionally  independent  of  the  executive,  the 
legislature,  and  the  military.   Court  officials  are  lawyers 
who  have  completed  a  number  of  years  of  required 
apprenticeship.   Trials  are  open  to  the  public,  and  defendants 
have  the  right  to  a  defense  attorney.   Ordinary  courts  hold — 
hearings  which  are  presided  over  by  a  panel  of  judges  and,  in 
the  case  of  criminal  charges,  include  a  panel  of  citizens  as  a 
form  of  jury.   Magistrates  are  appointed  by  decree,  and  judges 
are  not  subject  to  governmental  supervision.   However,  there 
are  recurrent  allegations  that  the  courts  are  not  immune  to 
government  pressure,  and  that  some  judges  have  been  removed 
from  cases  when  they  proved  too  independent-minded. 

There  are  four  categories  of  special  courts:   the  High  Court 
of  Justice,  the  Security  (or  "political")  Court,  the  Court  for 
the  Repression  of  the  Unlawful  Accumulation  of  Wealth,  and  the 
military  courts.   The  High  Court  of  Justice,  which  was  created 
for  the  sole  purpose  of  trying  high  government  officials  for 
treason  or  malfeasance,  has  never  met.   The  Security  Court, 
which  consists  of  a  judge  and  two  assessors,  has  jurisdiction 
over  cases  involving  politically  motivated  crimes,  such  as  the 
Casamance  separatist  cases.   The  "Illegal  Enrichment"  Court 
has  only  judged  three  cases  since  it  was  created  6  years  ago 
and  is  not  presently  active.   The  military  court  system  has 
jurisdiction  over  offenses  committed  by  members  of  the  armed 
forces  during  peacetime.   In  wartime,  courts-martial  may  be 
convened.   Civilians  may  not  be  tried  by  military  courts. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence. 

The  Senegalese  bureaucracy,  patterned  after  the  French  system, 
is  highly  centralized  and  requires  of  Senegalese  citizens  a 
fairly  extensive  array  of  documentation  for  purposes  of 
education  and  obtaining  social  security  and  other  benefits. 
The  intent,  however,  is  not  coercive,  and  there  is  otherwise 
little  government  interference  in  the  private  lives  of 
citizens . 

There  is  no  evident  pattern  of  monitoring  the  private  written 
or  oral  communications  of  Senegalese  citizens.   There  are 
constitutional  safeguards  against  arbitrary  invasion  of  the 
home.   Search  warrants  are  required  and  may  be  issued  only  by 
judges  and  in  accordance  with  procedures  established  by  law. 
While  there  is  no  evidence  that  security  forces  systematically 
violate  the  law  in  this  regard,  searches  without  warrants  do 
occasionally  take  place. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Freedom  of  speech  and  press  is  protected  constitutionally  and 
is  generally  respected  in  practice.   Full  academic  freedom 
exists.   As  noted  above,  however,  there  are  laws  which 
restrict  personal  attacks  on  the  presidency  and  governmental 
institutions . 


247 


SENEGAL 

Publications  are  neither  censored  nor  banned  in  Senegal. 
Publishers  are  required  to  register  with  the  Central  Court 
prior  to  starting  publication,  but  such  registrations  are 
routinely  approved.   Laws  establish  standards  for  journalists 
and  publishers.   There  are  dozens  of  magazines  and  newspapers 
which  reflect  a  broad  range  of  opinion  from  conservative  to 
Marxist.   The  country's  most  professional  and  informative 
newspaper  is  controlled  by,  and  supports,  the  majority 
Socialist  Party.   Foreign  publications  circulate  freely  in 
Senegal  without  censorship. 

Notwithstanding  the  broad  range  of  views  available  to  the 
public,  it  is  clear  that  in  the  official  media  (including  the 
government-controlled  radio  and  television)  the  activities  of 
the  ruling  party  are  always  covered,  while  the  opposition 
parties  are  mentioned  only  occasionally  at  best.   Even  when 
the  opposition  is  mentioned,  it  is  done  selectively,  e.g., 
communiques  are  not  read  in  their  entirety  and  certain 
factions  are  excluded  in  favor  of  others  less  hostile  to  the 
Government.   Events  which  affect  and  interest  Senegalese  are 
sometimes  ignored  completely,  as  was  the  case  when  rioting 
broke  out  on  the  university  campus  in  January,  and  students 
went  on  strike  for  over  a  month. 

There  are  also  legal  limits  on  access  to,  and  use  of,  the 
official  media  during  election  campaigns.   The  ruling  party 
and  its  allies  are  entitled  to  50  percent  of  the  time  allotted 
to  political  broadcasts,  while  the  opposition  parties  divide 
the  remaining  50  percent.   Since  one  party  holds  the 
Government  while  some  15  oppose  it,  the  opposition  has 
demanded  more  equitable  access  to  the  airwaves. 

A  recent  law  restricts  the  subject,  timing,  and  publication  of 
opinion  polls,  especially  during  campaign  periods,  effectively 
prohibiting  them  from  covering  political  or  electoral 
questions.   A  national  commission  must  review  all  movies  prior 
to  public  exhibition,  and  film.s  which  offend  Senegalese 
sensibilities,  e.g.,  gratuitous  violence,  or  which  deal  with 
certain  politically  sensitive  topics  are  prohibited. 

b.   Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

Senegalese  frequently  exercise  their  constitutional  right  of 
assembly,  within  certain  restrictions  aimed  at  protecting 
public  order.   Prior  authorization  for  public  demonstrations 
is  required,  and  demonstrations  or  protest  meetings  against 
government  policies  are  closely  monitored  by  security 
services.   Many  opposition  party  activities  are  hindered  or 
delayed  because  rallies  or  meetings  can  be  banned  by  a  local 
police  official.   On  at  least  one  occasion,  a  decision  by  a 
cabinet  minister  in  the  capital  was  required  to  overrule  the 
ban.   The  opposition  claims  that  these  techniques  are  used  to 
limit  their  access  to  the  people. 

In  April  policemen  walked  off  their  jobs  in  Dakar  and 
demonstrated  in  the  streets.   Since  by  law  the  police  are 
prohibited  from  striking,  the  Government  fired  first  the 
Interior  Minister  and  his  senior  advisors  and  subsequently  the 
entire  police  force.   After  a  review  of  all  their  files, 
policemen  found  responsible  for  the  illegal  strike,  as  well  as 
those  involved  in  corruption  or  abuse  of  power,  were  not 
rehired.   A  large  demonstration  by  labor  union  members  outside 
the  National  Assembly  in  July  to  manifest  their  concern  over 
revisions  to  the  labor  code  under  consideration  by  the 
Assembly  took  place  peacefully  without  arrests. 


Rn_77n  n  _  RR  _  Q 


248 


SENEGAL 

Workers  have  the  right  to  organize  and  bargain  collectively 
and  to  strike  if  negotiations  are  unsuccessful.   Less  than  25 
percent  of  the  labor  force  is  unionized.   Economic  and 
work-related  issues  are  the  principal  concerns  of  Senegalese 
workers.   In  the  past,  the  Government  has  cracked  down  on 
wildcat  strike  actions,  such  as  in  the  case  of  the  transport 
workers  in  1985.   The  President  amnestied  in  1986  Moustapha 
Toure,  a  leader  of  the  transport  workers,  and  nine  others 
sentenced  to  prison  terms  after  that  action. 

The  major  trade  union  confederation,  the  National 
Confederation  of  Senegalese  Workers  (CNTS) ,  is  affiliated  with 
the  ruling  Socialist  Party.   There  are  also  several  small, 
sometimes  radical,  independent  trade  unions  representing  some 
workers  in  sectors  important  to  the  economy.   The  independent 
unions  are  not  afforded  the  same  access  to  workers  or  the 
media  as  CNTS  and  are  sometimes  excluded  from  activities  such 
as  the  traditional  workers'  May  Day  parade.   The  CNTS  is 
entitled  by  the  Socialist  Party  to  a  ministerial  post,  but  the 
Secretary  General  of  the  CNTS  has  declined  to  accept  the  post, 
stating  that  he  wishes  to  avoid  divided  loyalty  between  the 
workers  and  the  party. 

In  July  1987,  the  Government,  in  an  attempt  to  comply  with 
World  Bank  requirements  aimed  at  making  Senegal  more 
attractive  to  investors,  introduced  new  labor  legislation 
designed  to  allow  employers  to  hire  workers  for  an  unlimited 
number  of  yearly  contracts.   The  law  required  that  an 
employer,  after  signing  two  limited-term  contracts  with  an 
employee,  must  hire  the  employee  full  time  and  give  the 
employee  full  benefits  and  an  unlimited  duration  contract. 
The  CNTS  demonstrated  and  lobbied  successfully  for  an 
amendment  to  the  government-sponsored  bill  which,  in  a  final 
review,  made  the  new  legislation  almost  exactly  the  same  as 
the  former  legislation.   The  CNTS  officially  is  nonaligned 
with  any  international  labor  body  but  is  affiliated  with  the 
Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion. 

Senegal  is  constitutionally  a  secular  state,  and  freedom  of 
religion  is  a  legal  right  which  exists  in  practice.   Islam  is 
the  religion  of  over  85  percent  of  the  population.   Other 
religions,  primarily  Catholicism,  are  freely  exercised. 
Missionary  activity  is  permitted,  and  foreign  Protestant 
missionaries  are  active  in  several  regions  of  the  country. 
Conversion  is  permitted,  and  there  is  no  discrimination 
against  minority  religions.   Adherence  to  a  particular 
religion  confers  neither  advantage  nor  disadvantage  in  civil, 
political,  economic,  military,  or  other  sectors. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

The  Constitution  states  that  all  citizens  have  the  right  to 
move  and  establish  themselves  freely  anywhere  in  Senegal,  a 
right  respected  in  practice.   Since  1981  exit  visas  are  not 
required  for  travel  outside  the  country.   There  is  no 
restriction  on  emigration,  and  repatriates  are  not  officially 
disadvantaged  on  return  to  Senegal. 

Senegal  is  host  to  5,140  recognized  and  assisted  refugees. 
Prior  to  the  April  3,  1984  coup  in  Guinea,  there  were  an 
estimated  500,000  Guineans  in  Senegal,  most  of  whom  were  not 
officially  recognized  as  refugees.   Most  of  them  have  since 


249 


SENEGAL 

returned  to  Guinea.   There  is  a  regional  office  of  the  United 
Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  in  Dakar.   Senegal 
continues  to  make  places  available  for  refugee  students  from 
other  countries  at  the  University  of  Dakar  and  other 
educational  institutions. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Senegal  is  a  functioning  democracy  with  universal  suffrage  for 
all  citizens  over  21.   Political  life  throughout  the 
postindependence  period  has  been  dominated  by  the  Socialist 
Party.   There  are  currently  17  legally  registered  parties 
ranging  in  ideology  from  conservative  to  Trotskyite.   Parties 
may  not  be  based  on  divisive  factors  such  as  language, 
religion,  or  ethnic  group.   Presidential  and  legislative 
elections  were  last  held  in  February  1983,  with  rural  and 
municipal  elections  in  November  1984.   The  next  general 
elections  are  scheduled  for  February  1988. 

In  the  general  elections  of  1983,  the  PS  won  the  presidency 
and  111  of  the  120  legislative  seats  under  a  combination  of 
direct  constituency  elections  and  proportional  representation 
which  was  developed  to  assure  at  least  some  opposition 
presence.   Opposition  parties  at  that  time  charged  that  recent 
changes  in  the  electoral  code  had  favored  the  ruling  party  by 
removing  the  requirements  for  voter  identification,  a  secret 
ballot,  and  opposition  representation  when  votes  were 
counted.   Because  of  these  objections,  the  leading  opposition 
party,  which  won  eight  seats  in  the  legislature,  decided  to 
boycott  the  municipal  and  rural  elections  the  following  year. 
In  preparation  for  the  February  elections,  several  of  the 
opposition  parties  are  attempting  to  pressure  the  Government 
to  modify  the  electoral  code  by  threatening  to  boycott  again. 
The  Government  has  shown  no  sign  of  flexibility  on  this 
subject,  and  it  appears  the  opposition  will  campaign  even  if 
no  changes  are  made. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

Senegal  maintains  a  dialogue  with  organizations  such  as 
Amnesty  International  (AI),  which  has  an  active  chapter  in 
Dakar,  and  has  permitted  numerous  AI  missions  to  investigate 
reports  of  human  rights  abuses  in  Senegal.   Senegal  is  a 
leader  among  African  countries  in  the  establishment  and 
promotion  of  international  standards  for  human  rights 
practices.   Senegal  was  the  original  sponsor  of  the  African 
Charter  of  Human  and  Peoples'  Rights  of  the  Organization  of 
African  Unity  (OAU) .   In  June  1987,  Senegal  organized  a 
colloquium  to  discuss  the  role  and  function  of  the  African 
Human  Rights  Commission  to  be  set  up  under  that  Charter,  and  a 
member  of  Senegal's  Supreme  Court  was  among  the  11  African 
jurists  chosen  by  the  OAU's  annual  summit  meeting,  in  July,  to 
be  on  that  Commission.   Senegal  is  also  an  active  member  of 
the  U.N.  Human  Rights  Commission.   A  Senegalese  was  recently 
elected  Vice  President  of  the  International  Court  of  Justice 
in  The  Hague.   Dakar  is  the  headquarters  of  several 
institutions  which  foster  the  spread  of  human  rights  and 
democratic  pluralism  in  Africa. 


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Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Sex,  Race,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

While  in  general  there  is  no  official  discrimination  in 
Senegal  based  on  race,  religion,  or  language,  the  country  is 
predominantly  Muslim,  and  Islamic  customs  including  polygamy 
and  the  rules  of  inheritance  generally  prevail,  especially  in 
the  rural  areas.   Women  are  active  participants  in  the 
political  process,  and  several  parties,  including  the  dominant 
Socialist  Party,  have  sections  promoting  women's  rights. 
Twelve  women  are  deputies  in  the  National  Assembly,  and  there 
are  3  women  in  President  Diouf's  Cabinet.   In  addition,  a 
number  of  government  ministries  employ  women  in  key  positions, 
e.g.,  the  Political  Director  of  the  Ministry  of  Foreign 
Affairs.   In  other  ministries  key  agronomists,  statisticians, 
and  economists  are  women.   Women  may  not  serve  in  the  armed 
forces.   As  a  result,  the  new  requirement  that  all  police 
recruits  have  prior  military  service  has  the  side  effect  of 
barring  women  from  service  in  the  police  force. 

A  subtle  form  of  discrimination  based  on  social  status  does 
exist,  although  it  has  been  officially  outlawed  for  several 
years.   It  concerns  those  families  "of  caste,"  who  were 
traditionally  occupied  with  menial  or  dirty  jobs  in  the 
community--tanners ,  blacksmiths  (and  by  extension,  gold  and 
silversmiths),  wood  carvers,  some  fishermen,  etc.   Although  it 
is  against  the  law  to  even  mention  the  caste  of  a  Senegalese, 
in  fact  virtually  all  citizens  of  the  country  know  where  each 
person  fits  in  the  social  hierarchy.   Articles  in  the  press 
have  described  frictions  which  result  from  this  social 
stratification.   For  example,  a  family  may  refuse  to  permit 
the  marriage  of  a  daughter  to  a  young  man  of  caste  because  it 
would  lower  her  status. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

The  National  Confederation  of  Senegalese  Workers  (CNTS) 
has  been  a  major  force  in  establishing,  through  collective 
bargaining  over  the  years,  regulations  and  guidelines  for 
minimum  employment  age  (16),  occupational  safety  and  health 
standards,  minimum  wage,  and  limits  on  work  hours.   In  a 
majority  of  the  larger  companies  and  enterprises  which  can  be 
easily  monitored,  the  standards  are  closely  followed.   The 
minimum  wage  is  approximately  $0.66  per  hour  for  a  minimum  of 
3  hours'  work.   Yet  the  informal  work  sector,  faced  with  a 
worsening  economic  situation,  has  ignored  many  of  these 
regulations.   It  is  extremely  difficult  to  monitor,  let  alone 
enforce,  the  minimum  age  requirement,  working  hour  limits,  and 
work  place  conditions  within  the  informal  work  sector,  and  no 
effort  is  made  in  the  large  agricultural  sector. 


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The  Government  of  Seychelles,  led  by  President  France  Albert 
Rene,  took  power  in  June  1977  in  a  military  coup  d'etat  and 
forced  into  exile  a  number  of  former  leaders,  including 
ex-Prime  Minister  James  Mancham.   In  1979  a  new  Constitution 
was  promulgated  which  formally  abolished  all  political 
opposition  to  the  ruling  Socialist  party,  the  Seychelles 
People's  Progressive  Front  (SPPF) .   This  Constitution  provides 
for  a  strong  presidential  executive,  who  appoints  ministers 
and  a  People's  Assembly  of  23  elected  members  and  several 
appointed  members.   The  1987  elections  in  the  Assembly  were 
competitive  (more  than  one  candidate  vied  for  some  seats),  but 
all  candidates  were  members  of  the  SPPF. 

The  Seychelles  has  a  defense  force  of  about  800  army 
personnel,  a  300-man  presidential  protection  unit,  a  100-man 
navy,  and  a  15-man  air  force,  as  well  as  a  uniformed  police 
force  of  500  and  a  people's  militia  of  about  2,000.   Together 
these  units  comprise  over  4.3  percent  of  the  total  population. 
Tanzanian  troops,  now  no  longer  on  the  islands,  helped  put 
down  a  mutiny  in  the  armed  forces  in  1982.   The  defense  force 
repulsed  a  November  1981  attack  by  mercenaries  financed  by 
Seychellois  in  exile. 

The  Seychelles  economy  relies  predominantly  on  tourism  for 
foreign  exchange.   The  tourism  industry,  which  fell 
dramatically  in  the  early  1980's,  has  since  revived. 
Approximately  73,000  tourists  visited  Seychelles  during  1987, 
an  increase  of  4.3  percent  over  1986.   Seychelles  has  actively 
sought  to  diversify  the  economy  by  granting  fishing  licenses 
to  French,  Soviet,  Spanish,  Korean,  and  Japanese  trawlers  and 
by  expanding  the  fishing  port  in  Victoria  with  foreign  donor 
assistance . 

The  human  rights  situation  was  little  changed  during  1987. 
The  Constitution  does  not  provide  for  fundamental  human 
rights,  but  rather  includes  them  in  a  preamble  as  the  goal  of 
the  people  of  Seychelles.   In  1987  the  President  continued  to 
use  the  Public  Security  Act,  which  allows  for  indefinite 
detention  in  security  cases,  thus  reaffirming  his  determination 
to  put  down  opposition  elements.   The  Government  also  continued 
to  use  exile  as  a  means  of  suppressing  dissent  and  accelerated 
a  program  of  acquiring  real  property  belonging  to  Seychellois 
residing  overseas  and  known  to  be  opposed  to  the  Government. 
There  were  no  reported  instances  of  torture  in  1987  and  fewer 
political  arrests  and  detentions  than  in  1986.   The  President 
reaffirmed  his  commitment  to  freedom  of  religion, 
noninterference  in  church  affairs,  and  the  right  of  religious 
groups  to  speak  out,  including  through  their  influential  media 
outlets . 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  Killing 

There  were  no  confirmed  instances  of  killing  for  political 
motives.   Members  of  the  overseas  opposition  allege,  however, 
that  Gerard  Hoareau,  leader  of  the  London-based  Seychelles 
National  Movement,  who  was  killed  in  November  1985,  was 
assassinated  by  government  agents  and  that  Marjorie  Baker,  a 
Seychellois  radio  broadcaster  stabbed  to  death  in  September 
1986,  was  killed  to  prevent  her  from  revealing  a  story  of 
political  intrigue. 


252 

SEYCHELLES 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  disappearance. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

The  Constitution  explicitly  forbids  torture.  While  reports  of 
torture  are  infrequent,  there  were  two  instances  in  1986  which 
were  substantiated  by  credible  evidence.  Two  prisoners,  who 
had  been  detained  for  political  reasons,  were  severely  beaten; 
one  had  been  burned  with  cigarettes  and  had  his  beard  and  hair 
set  on  fire,  while  the  other  had  been  tortured  with  a  bayonet. 

Generally,  prisoners  are  well  fed  and  supervised  by 
professional  prison  wardens.   Prisoners  are  normally 
incarcerated  on  isolated  islands,  although  family  visits  are 
routinely  arranged. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

During  1987  several  persons  were  arrested  and  detained  on 
presidential  order  under  the  Preservation  of  Public  Security 
Act,  which  allows  for  indefinite  detention  without  trial  in 
security  cases.   There  is  a  Review  Tribunal  which  is  supposed 
to  monitor  prisoner  treatment,  but  the  Tribunal  has  not  been 
convened  since  the  late  1970's.   The  Public  Security  Act  was 
introduced  in  December  1981,  following  an  attack  by 
mercenaries,  and  has  been  used  on  several  occasions  in  recent 
years  under  questionable  circumstances,  thereby  tarnishing  the 
Government's  reputation.   For  example,  six  persons  were 
arrested  in  June  1986  under  this  Act,  including  Phillippe 
Boulle,  the  leading  human  rights  activist  in  the  country.   The 
six  were  subsequently  released  in  October  1986  without  any 
formal  charges  being  brought  against  them.   In  addition  to 
those  detained  under  the  Act,  police  sometimes  detain  persons 
for  24  hours  for  "questioning"  regarding  alleged  antigovernment 
activities.   In  particular,  persons  who  seek  to  mobilize  public 
opinion  against  the  Government  run  a  serious  risk  of  being  held 
for  "questioning." 

The  1987  detentions  under  the  Public  Safety  Act  typically 
lasted  only  a  few  days.   At  the  end  of  1987,  there  were  no 
known  political  detainees  or  prisoners,  the  last  detainee 
under  the  Act  having  been  released  in  September. 

The  Government  has  taken  various  other  actions  against 
potential  opponents.   Some  government  workers  have  been  fired 
without  recourse  to  appeal  or  review.   Other  persons  have 
suffered  social  and  economic  harassment  and  received  direct  or 
anonymous  threats  which  they  interpreted  as  signals  to  leave 
the  country.   Frequently,  the  Government  has  directly  urged 
opponents  to  emigrate,  an  option  that  many  have  chosen  over 
the  years  (see  l.f.  below). 

There  is  a  prohibition  against  the  use  of  forced  or  compulsory 
labor,  and  such  practices  have  not  been  employed.   There  is, 
however,  the  National  Youth  Service  for  all  persons  age  14  to 
16,  which  has  elements  of  military  training  and  discipline,  as 
well  as  academic  study. 


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SEYCHELLES 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

Defendants  in  nonpolitical  (both  civil  and  criminal)  cases 
have  access  to  counsel  and  have  enjoyed  speedy  and  fair 
trials.   The  right  to  trial  is  patterned  in  large  measure  on 
English  common  law,  although  there  is  also  a  heavy  influence 
of  Napoleonic  code  law.   Judges  are  provided  under  arrangements 
with  the  British  Commonwealth  and,  except  for  security  cases, 
have  exhibited  considerable  independence  from  both  the 
executive  and  legislative  branches.   The  Chief  Justice,  who  is 
appointed  by  the  President,  has  stressed  on  several  occasions 
that  it  is  the  judiciary's  responsibility  to  impose  sentences 
as  required  by  law  and  that  it  should  reflect  the  will  of  the 
legislature. 

The  President  exercises  quasi- judicial  powers.   He  has  not 
only  appointment  authority  but  also  has  broad  detention 
authority  where  public  security  is  involved.   Seychelles'  law 
requires  that  a  member  of  the  armed  forces  be  tried  by  court 
martial  unless  the  President  decrees  otherwise.   Theoretically, 
the  Constitution  precludes  the  President  from  dismissing 
judges.   However,  the  President  dismissed  the  previous  Chief 
Justice,  an  action  which  has  so  far  not  been  subjected  to 
legal  review. 

Amnesty  International  adopted  Royce  Dias,  a  known  opponent  of 
the  Government,  as  a  "prisoner  of  conscience,"  reflecting 
suspicions  that  the  criminal  charges  against  him  appeared  to 
have  been  fabricated  for  political  reasons.   Dias'  7-year 
sentence  for  possession  of  drugs  was  later  reduced  by  the 
appeals  court  to  5  years.   He  remained  incarcerated  in  1987. 

f.  Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  authorities  have  broad  powers  of  search  and  seizure 
without  a  warrant.   The  Seychelles  Marketing  Board  Act,  passed 
in  1984,  allowed  police  to  enter  any  premises,  private  or 
public,  and  to  seize  any  documents  which  they  believe  may  be 
in  violation  of  the  Act.   However,  in  August  1987  the 
Government  repealed  a  15-month-old  law  which  had  required  all 
locally  grown  produce  to  be  sold  through  the  Marketing  Board, 
thereby  eliminating  the  justification  for  searches  relating  to 
illegal  sale  of  produce.   Legislation  exists  which  allows  the 
Government  to  open  mail,  domestic  as  well  as  international, 
and  it  is  widely  believed  that  the  Government  does  so.   Many 
persons  complain  that  applications  for  immigration  to  other 
countries  mailed  from  overseas  are  confiscated.   There  was  at 
least  one  confirmed  instance  of  a  person  who  openly  complained 
about  the  lack  of  civil  liberties  in  Seychelles  having  his 
home  ransacked. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Although  theoretically  protected  under  the  1979  Constitution, 
freedom  of  speech  is  exercised  sparingly.   The  Government 
controls  the  major  newspaper  in  the  country,  as  well" as  all 
radio  and  television  broadcasting.   Legislation  provides  up  to 
3  years'  imprisonment  for  anyone  "who  with  intent  to  bring  the 
President  into  hatred,  ridicule,  or  contempt,  publishes  any 
defamatory  or  insulting  matter  whether  in  writing,  print,  or  by 
word  of  mouth,  or  in  any  other  manner."   This  same  legislation 
authorizes  a  2-year  sentence  for  anyone  who  "prints,  supplies. 


254 


SEYCHELLES 

distributes,  reproduces,  or  has  in  his  possession  or  control" 
any  publication  banned  by  the  Government  for  security 
reasons.   The  Government  has  sought  to  prevent  the  importation 
of  pamphlets  printed  by  its  opposition  abroad.   There  were  no 
known  arrests  for  distribution  or  importation  of  "seditious 
literature"  in  1987. 

The  President  has  promised  not  to  interfere  with  the  right  of 
religious  groups  to  speak  out  freely.   The  Catholic  Church 
publishes  a  lively  paper.  Echo  Des  Isles,  which  is  not  subject 
to  government  control  or  censorship.   This  paper  continues  to 
publish  some  articles  which  obliquely  criticize  the  Government. 
The  two  largest  religious  denominations  in  the  country,  the 
Roman  Catholic  and  Anglican  Churches,  are  each  provided  2 
hours  of  free,  uncensored  broadcasting  a  month.   Both  Churches 
have  taken  advantage  of  the  monthly  broadcast  to  comment  on 
social  and  political  issues.   Seychelles  has  for  the  past  17 
years  granted  a  license  for  a  Protestant  radio  station  (FEBA) 
to  broadcast  religious  programs  throughout  Asia  and  Africa. 
FEBA  is  planning  to  expand  its  facilities  in  Seychelles.   The 
BBC  has  commenced  building  a  relay  facility  on  the  main  island 
of  Mahe.   Foreign  broadcasts  are  widely  listened  to  and  are 
uncensored.   Foreign  publications  have  been  imported  and  sold 
without  hindrance. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  Government  has  been  quick  to  move  against  unauthorized 
demonstrations  and  has  made  arrests  under  an  old  British 
colonial  law  which  prohibits  unlawful  assembly  without  a 
government  permit.   All  associations,  clubs,  and  other 
organizations  require  government  permission  to  organize,  which 
is  usually  granted  for  nonpolitical  groups. 

There  is  one  legal  union,  the  National  Workers'  Union  (NWU) , 
which  is  under  direct  control  of  the  ruling  party  and  is 
government  subsidized.   It  does  not  function  as  a  free  trade 
union,  although  it  serves  in  an  advisory  role  for  workers  and 
seeks  better  working  conditions  for  its  members.   The  NWU  lost 
a  seat  on  the  International  Labor  Organization  governing  board 
in  1981  because  of  its  failure  to  attend  a  meeting  in  Geneva. 
Changes  at  the  1985  party  conference  further  restricted  the 
election  of  labor  union  officials  who,  in  the  future,  will  be 
appointed  by  the  Government.   A  new  labor  law,  enacted  in  1985 
and  effective  beginning  in  1986,  set  out  guidelines  for 
employee/employer  relations.   There  have  been  no  strikes  in 
Seychelles  since  1977.   There  is  no  collective  bargaining. 
Most  workers  are  government  employees,  whose  wages  are  set  by 
governmental  guidelines  through  parastatal  companies.   The 
guidelines  set  upper  limits  on  wages  and  preclude  wage 
incentives.   Nonetheless,  industrial  relations  are  harmonious. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

There  has  been  no  official  religious  persecution  in  the 
Seychelles,  and  church  services  are  widely  attended.   The 
Roman  Catholic  and  Anglican  churches  have  flourished,  and 
Muslims  and  Hindus  are  unrestricted  in  their  religious 
practices.   There  is  a  clear  separation  between  church  and 
state.   Religious  instruction  in  schools  has  been  limited. 
The  Government  has  addressed  religious  institutions' 
complaints  that  artificial  impediments  have  made  it  difficult, 
if  not  impossible,  for  children  (ages  14-17)  in  the  National 
Youth  Service  (NYS)  to  attend  church  by  allowing  services  to 
be  held  at  the  NYS  camps.   As  recently  as  1984,  the  President 


255 


SEYCHELLES 

publicly  reiterated  his  support  for  religion  and  said  there 
would  be  no  government  interference  in  the  right  of  people  to 
worship  as  they  choose. 

d.   Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

There  are  no  restrictions  on  internal  travel.   Passports  may 
be  acquired  by  virtually  any  citizen,  although  Seychellois 
traveling  abroad  for  study  at  government  expense  are  required 
to  sign  a  bond  which  enables  the  Government  to  recoup  the  cost 
of  their  education  should  they  fail  to  return.   Such  persons 
who  are  "bonded"  must  have  government  permission  to  travel 
abroad  following  their  return.   There  are  no  known  cases  in 
which  passports  are  currently  being  withheld.   There  are  no 
restrictions  on  voluntary  repatriation  for  those  willing  to 
accept  the  present  one-party  political  system. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

Since  1979  there  has  been  only  one  legal  political  party,  the 
Seychelles  People's  Progressive  Front  (SPPF) .   All  political 
(and  much  social)  activity  is  channeled  through  this 
institution.   Citizens  cannot  change  the  one-party  system,  and 
therefore  cannot  change  the  party  in  power.   President  Rene, 
both  as  President  of  the  country  as  well  as  the  Secretary 
General  of  the  party,  wields  much  power  and  influence.   During 
the  SPPF  Congress  held  December  10-12,  1987,  the  President 
once  more  was  unopposed  and  was  elected  unanimously  to  a 
fourth  3-yeaf  term  as  Secretary  General  of  the  party. 
Opponents  of  the  party  can  neither  organize  nor  express  public 
opposition.   The  party  has  23  regional  offices  called 
"branches"  which  are  responsible  for  organizing  and  supervising 
discussion  about  current  government  policies.   These  branches 
are  encouraged  to  report  public  opinion  in  their  regions. 
Such  discussions  do  not  often  result  in  policy  changes. 

The  Government  has  used  various  means  to  stifle  political 
opposition.   In  June  1983,  the  Government  embarked  on  a 
campaign  to  nationalize  private  land,  ostensibly  to  claim 
unused  agricultural  land.   On  March  13,  1987,  the  Government 
implemented  a  vigorous  program  of  acquiring  many  parcels  of 
Seychelles  real  estate  owned  by  Seychellois  abroad  known  to 
oppose  the  Government.   The  acquisitions  are  made  under  the 
Land  Acquisition  Act  of  1977.   Although  the  Government  has 
stated  that  compensation  will  be  paid,  relatively  few  persons 
have  been  compensated,  and  it  is  anticipated  that  any 
compensation  will  generally  be  in  the  form  of  long-term 
government  bonds  at  very  low  interest  rates.   Negotiations 
with  previous  owners  were  continuing  at  the  end  of  1987. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

Requests  for  information  are  sent  to  the  Chief  Justice  of  the 
Supreme  Court,  who  acts  as  an  interlocutor  between  human 
rights  groups,  such  as  Amnesty  International,  and  the 
Seychelles  Government.   There  have  been  complaints  that 
correspondence  relating  to  the  Amnesty  International  case  of 
Royce  Dias  has  been  interfered  with,  but  to  date  it  has  not 
been  possible  to  confirm  the  validity  of  those  complaints.   In 
other  cases,  however,  inquiries  have  led  to  the  release  of 
some  detainees. 


256 


SEYCHELLES 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

There  is  no  discrimination  in  housing,  employment,  education, 
or  other  social  services  based  on  sex  or  on  racial,  ethnic, 
national,  or  religious  identification.   Women  enjoy  high 
status  in  this  essentially  matriarchal  society.   They  have  the 
same  legal,  political,  economic,  and  social  rights  as  men. 
One  woman  was  recently  elevated  to  the  rank  of  minister.   Two 
women  are  serving  as  Central  Committee  members  of  the  party. 
Many  senior  officials,  up  to  and  including  the  rank  of  state 
secretary,  are  women. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

The  Seychelles,  located  in  the  Indian  Ocean  about  1,000  miles 
east  of  Kenya,  has  a  population  of  only  65,000  and  a  land 
surface  of  171  sguare  miles.   The  Government  dominates  the 
labor  scene  in  the  small  economy.   Labor  laws  were 
consolidated  in  the  Employment  Act  of  1985,  which  went  into 
force  in  1986  and  provides  for  a  minimum  working  age  of  14  and 
a  minimum  wage  of  $165  per  month.   According  to  officials  of 
the  National  Workers  Union,  occupational  safety  and  health 
conditions  are  one  element  monitored  by  the  union's  inspection 
program.   Labor  laws  are  enforced.   The  Government  has  used 
these  laws  to  keep  people  on  the  job,  thus  holding  down  an 
already  high  unemployment  rate.   There  are  no  child  labor  laws 
beyond  the  setting  of  the  minimum  age  noted  above.   The 
minimum  wage,  high  by  African  standards,  is  not  adequate  in  a 
severely  overpriced  economy. 


257 


SIERRA  LEONE 


Sierra  Leone  has  a  one-party  system  of  government  with  the 
President  exercising  predominant  executive  authority.   The 
1978  Constitution,  approved  in  a  national  referendum, 
established  the  All  People's  Congress  (APC)  as  the  country's 
sole  legal  political  party.   Major  General  Joseph  Saidu  Momoh 
assumed  power  on  November  28,  1985,  following  a  national 
referendum  confirming  his  designation  by  the  APC  for  the 
Presidency. 

The  government  security  structure,  which  includes  the  police, 
the  military  forces,  and  the  Special  Security  Division, 
generally  does  not  interfere  with  the  rights  of  individuals. 
In  October,  however,  a  number  of  soldiers  attacked  workers  at 
a  power  generating  plant,  allegedly  because  they  believed  the 
workers  were  deliberately  denying  electricity  to  the  military. 
Senior  military  officials  apologized  for  the  incident  and 
promised  an  investigation  and  punishment  for  those  involved. 

Sierra  Leone  is  considered  by  the  United  Nations  to  be  among 
the  world's  least  developed  countries.   About  70  percent  of 
its  3.9  million  population  is  engaged  in  agriculture,  mainly 
at  the  subsistence  level.   Mineral  exports,  notably  diamonds, 
are  the  principal  foreign  exchange  earner.   The  Constitution 
recognizes  the  right  of  the  individual  to  own  private  property. 
Most  of  the  modern  sector  of  the  economy  is  privately  owned, 
but  there  is  government  ownership  in  certain  key  sectors, 
particularly  transportation  and  mining.   Economic  austerity 
measures  initiated  in  July  1986  were  abandoned  early  in  1987, 
and  economic  conditions,  notably  in  diamond  production  and 
prices,  have  continued  to  deteriorate.   In  November  the 
President  declared  a  state  of  economic  emergency  and  proposed 
a  series  of  sweeping  measures,  e.g.,  measures  to  prevent 
hoarding  and  smuggling  of  precious  minerals  and  to  punish 
severely  those  involved  in  government  corruption. 

In  1987  the  major  event  influencing  the  human  rights  climate 
was  the  President's  economic  emergency  program.   Reportedly, 
the  Government  has  moved  slowly  in  introducing  this  program  in 
order  to  protect  constitutional  rights,  but  the  emergency 
gives  the  Government  broad  new  powers  in  a  number  of  sensitive 
areas,  e.g.,  in  detaining  and  controlling  the  movements  of 
people,  and  limiting  press  reporting.   The  Government  created 
a  special  commission  to  investigate  the  high  number  of  prisoner 
deaths  due  to  malnutrition  and  disease.   In  March  an  alleged 
coup  plot  against  the  Momoh  Government  was  uncovered.   The 
Government  charged  that  a  former  senior  police  official 
conspired  with  the  then  First  Vice  President  and  a  prominent 
businessman  to  assassinate  the  President.   Eighteen  persons 
were  tried  and  found  guilty  of  treason;  16  were  sentenced  to 
death.   The  verdicts  were  being  appealed  at  the  end  of  1987. 

RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

There  were  no  reports  of  political  killings. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reports  of  abduction  of  individuals  by  the 
Government  or  hostage-taking  by  nongovernmental  groups. 


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c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

There  were  no  specific  reports  of  torture  in  1987.   Harsh 
physical  treatment  of  prisoners  by  police,  however,  is  thought 
to  be  common.   Conditions  in  the  prisons  are  poor,  and  deaths 
due  to  malnutrition,  pneumonia,  diarrhea,  and  gastroenteritis 
are  said  by  journalists  and  lawyers  to  be  common.   Amnesty 
International  issued  a  report  in  1987  making  similar 
allegations.   Subsequently,  the  President  appointed  a  special 
panel  to  investigate  prison  conditions.   It  had  not  reported 
its  findings  by  the  end  of  the  year. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

The  President's  new  economic  emergency  measures,  which  were 
announced  in  November,  gave  the  Government  new  powers  to  deal 
with  smugglers  and  hoarders  of  currency  and  commodities. 
Their  impact  on  judicial  procedures  and  the  forced  movement  of 
people  was  still  not  clear  at  the  end  of  1987. 

Judicial  review  of  arrests  is  part  of  Sierra  Leone  common  law 
and  generally  observed  in  practice.   It  is  widely  charged, 
however,  particularly  in  Sierra  Leonean  legal  circles,  that 
police,  as  a  form  of  harassment,  sometimes  detain  persons  for 
short  periods  without  charge  or  judicial  review.   Under  normal 
circumstances,  detainees  not  charged  with  an  offense  within  28 
days  of  arrest  must  be  released.   During  a  state  of  emergency, 
however,  the  Public  Emergency  Act  comes  into  effect,  and 
persons  detained  under  its  provisions  are  not  guaranteed  a 
hearing  unless  charged  with  a  capital  offense.   (The  economic 
emergency  measures  enacted  in  1987  do  not  fall  under  the 
Public  Emergency  Act.)   No  one  was  being  detained  under  Public 
Emergency  regulations  at  the  end  of  1987.   Under  the 
Constitution,  the  President  may  take  measures  to  detain  any 
person  who  is,  or  is  reasonably  suspected  to  be,  dangerous  to 
the  well-being  of  the  Republic. 

Neither  exile  nor  forced  labor  is  practiced. 

e.  Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  judicial  system  comprises  a  Supreme  Court  of  Appeals  and  a 
High  Court  of  Justice,  with  judges  appointed  by  the  President, 
and  magistrates  courts.   Local  courts  administer  traditional 
law,  with  lay  judges  and  procedures  that  do  not  require  legal 
counsel . 

The  judiciary  has  generally  maintained  its  independence, 
although  some  critics  charge  that  the  legal  system  is 
increasingly  subject  to  political  manipulation,  often  before 
cases  reach  the  courts,  and  that  it  has  also  been  penetrated 
by  corruption.   Sierra  Leone's  courts  generally  have  a 
reputation  for  providing  fair  public  trials.   Defendants  are 
allowed  counsel  of  their  choice,  and  convictions  may  be 
appealed.   Many  defendants,  however,  cannot  afford  counsel, 
and  a  public  defender  is  provided  only  in  capital  offense 
cases. 

There  are  no  known  political  prisoners.   The  1987  coup  trial 
which  involved  the  former  First  Vice  President,  Francis  M. 
Minah,  and  17  others--largely  from  Mr.  Minah's  Pujehun 
district — was  conducted  in  the  High  Court  of  Justice  and  was 
open  to  the  public.   The  defendants  had  legal  counsel  and  were 
given  adequate  time  to  prepare  their  cases  and  call  witnesses. 


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The  death  sentence  verdicts  in  16  of  the  18  cases  were  under 
appeal  to  the  Court  of  Appeals  at  the  end  of  1987.   According 
to  attorneys  defending  the  persons  charged  in  the  coup  trial, 
the  proceedings  were--to  all  outward  appearances — fair,  but 
they  believe  a  number  of  rulings  were  subtly  biased  in  favor 
of  the  prosecution. 

While  the  handling  of  the  1987  coup  case — from  arrest  to 
trial--moved  expeditiously,  this  is  not  true  of  most  cases. 
The  legal  system  is  heavily  overburdened  and  lacks  resources. 
This  results  in  an  average  delay  of  2  years  before  a  case 
actually  comes  to  trial.   The  only  official  records  of 
proceedings  are  handwritten  notes  taken  by  the  judges.   This 
practice  limits  lawyers'  access  to  written  documentation  and 
puts  in  question  the  impartiality  of  the  official  record. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

The  State  does  not  generally  interfere  with  rights  of  privacy 
and  family,  and  legal  safeguards  against  arbitrary  invasion  of 
the  home  are  usually  observed.  Neither  censorship  of  mail  nor 
electronic  eavesdropping  by  the  State  on  private  conversations 
have  been  reported.  Some  organizations,  however,  have  claimed 
that  informers  report  to  the  Government  on  their  activities. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.   Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

Although  freedom  of  speech  is  legally  guaranteed,  this  can  be 
abridged  under  the  Constitution  if  the  proper  functioning  of 
the  Government  is  deemed  to  be  in  jeopardy.   In  practice,  the 
Government  generally  tolerates  public  criticism  by  citizens, 
and  academic  freedom  is  respected.   Political  propaganda 
occasionally  circulates  within  the  country  from  opposition 
groups  based  in  Western  Europe  or  the  United  States. 

There  has  been  no  prior  government  censorship  of  the  press. 
Newspapers  have  reported  on  sensitive  political  topics  such  as 
misuse  of  government  funds,  bribery,  and  bureaucratic 
indiscipline.   The  press  has  been  particularly  active  in 
uncovering  corruption  since  the  Government  began  an 
anticorruption  campaign  in  July.   Journalists  fear,  however, 
that  the  economic  emergency  regulations  adopted  in  November 
will  affect  press  freedom  adversely.   Those  regulations 
provide  for  prison  sentences  up  to  5  years  and  fines  up  to 
5,000  leones  ($217)  for  publication  of  any  false  statement 
calculated  to  bring  another  person  into  disrepute,  or  any 
statement  in  a  newspaper  (regardless  of  its  truth)  that  is 
likely  to  alarm  the  public,  disturb  the  peace,  or  stir  up 
feelings  of  ill-will  among  ethnic  or  religious  groups.   Even 
prior  to  these  new  regulations  journalists  exercised  self- 
censorship.   For  example,  most  editors  avoid  publishing 
articles  portraying  the  country  in  a  critical  light  or 
attacking  the  Head  of  State  personally.   This  approach  is 
codified  in  the  Newspaper  Act  of  1983,  which  specifies 
qualification  standards  for  editors  and  sets  a  fee  for 
registration  of  newspapers. 

In  1987  one  editor  was  detained  for  4  days  on  the  orders  of 
the  First  Vice  President  who  objected  to  an  article  speculating 
that  he  would  be  removed.   The  editor  was  released  after  the 
Sierra  Leone  Association  of  Journalists  protested  the  detention 
to  the  President. 


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b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

The  Constitution  provides  for  the  right  of  freedom  of  assembly 
and  permits  the  formation  of  and  membership  in  trade  unions  or 
other  economic,  social,  or  professional  associations.   These 
rights,  however,  are  limited,  most  significantly  where  assembly 
or  association  would  conflict  with  the  "proper  functioning  of 
the  party"  or  with  public  order.   In  practice,  freedom  of 
association  in  the  nonpolitical  sphere  is  respected.   Private 
associations  of  citizens  can  and  do  make  representations  to 
the  Government  on  policy  issues  and  are  not  subject  to 
reprisals . 

There  has  been  a  long  history  of  trade  unions  in  Sierra  Leone. 
Labor  has  the  right  to  organize  into  unions,  to  recruit 
members,  and  to  bargain  collectively  with  employers.   Most 
sectors  of  the  modern  economy  are  unionized.   Labor  is  also 
permitted  to  strike,  and  there  have  been  a  number  of  strikes 
and  other  forms  of  industrial  action  in  recent  years,  most 
recently  a  teachers'  work  slowdown  in  1987.   Unions  also  have 
the  right  to  join  confederations.   The  Government  has  favored 
one  confederation,  the  Sierra  Leone  Labor  Congress  (SLCC) ,  to 
which  most  unions  now  belong.   The  Head  of  the  SLCC  is  a 
member  of  the  party  and  a  Member  of  Parliament.   The  SLCC 
participates  in  the  Sierra  Leone  delegation  to  the 
International  Labor  Organization  meetings  and  is  a  member  of 
the  International  Confederation  of  Free  Trade  Unions. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

There  is  a  tradition  of  religious  tolerance  in  Sierra  Leone. 
Muslims  (the  largest  religious  group),  Christians,  animists, 
and  adherents  of  other  faiths  practice  their  religions  freely 
and  publish  religious  documents  without  government 
interference. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

The  President's  economic  emergency  program  will,  when 
implemented,  affect  the  freedom  of  movement  of  people,  e.g., 
in  being  able  to  shift  people  to  other  areas  if  orderly 
administrative  and  economic  needs  dictate.   Heretofore,  the 
only  official  control  on  travel  within  the  country  has  been  in 
diamond-mining  areas  where  restrictions  are  intended  to  control 
smuggling.   There  are  few  regulations  restricting  foreign 
travel.   Sierra  Leone,  a  party  to  the  U.N.  Convention  and 
Protocol  Relating  to  the  Status  of  Refugees,  is  host  to 
approximately  200  refugees,  most  of  whom  are  students  from 
Namibia.   There  were  no  reported  incidents  of  forced 
repatriation  in  1987. 

Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

The  right  of  citizens  to  change  their  government  is  limited  by 
the  fact  that  Sierra  Leone  is  a  one-party  state,  although 
local  party  members  have  some  say  in  the  designation  of 
candidates.   Former  President  Stevens  was  the  dominant 
authority  in  Sierra  Leone  until  1985,  when  he  retired  and 
arranged  for  his  succession  by  Major  General  Momoh.   The 
Parliament,  at  Stevens'  behest,  amended  the  Constitution  to 
allow  Momoh  to  become  President  without  resigning  his  military 
commission,  and  in  August  of  that  year  the  single  party,  the 
All  Peoples'  Congress,  under  the  control  of  Stevens,  nominated 


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Momoh  as  President.   Since  independence  in  1961,  the  clear 
trend  in  political  development  has  been  to  increase  executive 
power  and  decrease  constitutional  checks  on  that  power.   The 
Constitution  provides  that  the  leader  of  the  party  will  be  the 
sole  candidate  for  the  office  of  President.   The  Cabinet, 
selected  by  the  President  from  elected  as  well  as  appointed 
members  of  Parliament,  meets  with  the  President  regularly  and 
is  a  key  advisory  body. 

The  Parliament  is  subservient  to  the  executive  branch  of  the 
Government.   Candidates  for  Parliament  are  chosen  in  each 
constituency  by  the  party's  local  executive  committee,  which 
selects  three  candidates  from  the  list  of  citizens  who  seek 
nomination.   The  Central  Committee  of  the  party  has  the  power 
to  disapprove  the  nomination  of  any  candidate  selected  by  the 
local  party  executive  if  it  believes  that  candidacy  would  be 
inimical  to  the  State.   Parliamentary  elections  were  last  held 
in  May  1986  and  were  accompanied  by  less  campaign  violence 
than  in  any  election  since  1977.   While  there  were  problems  in 
some  constituencies,  these  were  redressed  in  many  cases  by 
repolling  or,  in  seven  disputed  races,  in  the  courts.   There 
is  universal  suffrage. 

In  addition  to  the  national  political  system,  a  traditional 
system  of  local  government  operates  in  the  provinces. 
Paramount  chiefs  are  elected  for  life  by  the  members  of  local 
chiefdom  councils.   The  paramount  chiefs  retain  considerable 
authority  in  local  affairs  and  in  resolving  traditional 
disputes . 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

The  Government  generally  has  taken  a  positive  attitude  toward 
international  and  nongovernmental  groups  involved  in 
monitoring  human  rights  violations.   In  response  to  the  1987 
Amnesty  International  report.  President  Momoh  convened  a 
special  commission  to  investigate  possible  human  rights 
violations  in  the  prisons. 

The  Government  has  not  interfered  with  the  activities  of  the 
Sierra  Leone  Bar  Association's  Society  for  the  Preservation  of 
Human  Rights   This  Society,  founded  in  1985,  is  supported  by 
Members  of  Parliament,  judges,  medical  doctors,  academics, 
civil  servants,  trade  unionists,  and  the  media.   The  Society 
won  its  first  major  court  case  in  1986,  obtaining  the 
acquittal  of  a  group  arrested  for  demonstrating  peacefully. 
Local  chapters  of  Amnesty  International  also  exist. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

There  is  no  officially  sanctioned  discrimination  on  the  basis 
of  race,  sex,  religion,  language,  or  social  status.   Members 
of  Sierra  Leone's  various  ethnic  and  religious  groups  interact 
peacefully  and  are  represented  at  all  levels  of  the  Government. 

Women  in  Sierra  Leone  are  guaranteed  equal  rights  by  the 
Constitution,  but  their  status  varies  widely  in  different 
parts  of  the  country  and  depends  heavily  upon  the  cultural 
values  of  various  tribal  groups.   In  most  rural  areas,  women 
are  involved  in  farming.   In  some  areas  of  Sierra  Leone  women 
have  been  elected  to  the  prestigious  position  of  paramount 
chief.   The  Government  continues  to  be  male-dominated.   In  the 


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Parliament  elected  in  1986,  only  5  of  the  112  members  are 
women.   However,  women  are  prominent  in  some  professions,  and 
one  woman  is  a  Supreme  Court  justice. 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

The  normal  workweek  is  38  1/2  hours  (7  hours  on  each  of  the  5 
weekdays  and  3  1/2  hours  on  Saturdays) .   An  established  code 
sets  out  acceptable  standards  for  the  workplace,  covering 
maintenance  of  machinery,  safety  procedures,  and  sanitary 
conditions.   In  actual  practice,  however,  manufacturing 
concerns  in  Sierra  Leone,  of  which  there  are  very  few, 
probably  do  not  conform  to  the  code,  and  there  is  no 
practicable  means  of  enforcing  it.   There  is  no  minimum  age 
for  the  employment  of  children.   Sierra  Leone  has  no 
legislated  minimum  wage,  although  the  Ministry  of  Labour  is 
considering  such  a  proposal.   Outside  the  public  sector  there 
are  no  comprehensive  wage  or  salary  guidelines. 


263 


SOMALIA 


Somalia's  formal  governmental  structure  includes  the  President, 
the  Council  of  Ministers,  and  the  National  People's  Assembly. 
For  the  past  18  years,  Somalia  has  been  ruled  by  President 
Mohamed  Siad  Barre,  head  of  the  armed  forces  and  Secretary 
General  of  the  Somali  Revolutionary  Socialist  Party,  the 
country's  sole  legal  political  party.   Brought  to  power  by  a 
military  coup  in  1969,  President  Siad  was  elected  to  a  7-year 
term  in  December  1986  in  Somalia's  first  direct  presidential 
election  which  gave  the  President  99.9  percent  of  the  vote. 
The  Council  of  Ministers  is  appointed  by  President  Siad.   The 
members  of  the  People's  Assembly  were  last  elected  on  a  single 
slate  in  December  1984,  with  no  provision  for  alternative  or 
dissenting  votes.   The  President  regularly  convenes  the  party 
Politburo,  a  close  circle  of  advisers  composed  of  the  Vice 
President  and  four  of  the  most  powerful  ministers,  who  also 
represent  the  major  clan  groups  in  Somalia.   Informal  and 
formal  consultations  between  the  leadership  and  clan  groups 
also  have  a  major  impact  on  internal  politics. 

Having  risen  to  power  on  the  basis  of  his  support  in  the 
military.  President  Siad  consolidated  his  authority  by  forging 
a  consensus  among  the  clans  through  careful  balancing  of  clan 
representation  in  his  Cabinet.   Military  officers  remain  key 
political  players.   The  police  force  maintains  civil  order. 
These  two  uniformed  services  are  augmented  by  the  National 
Security  Service  (NSS),  created  in  1970,  which  has  essentially 
unlimited  powers  of  arrest,  detention,  and  confiscation  in 
matters  deemed  to  involve  national  security. 

Somalia  has  few  natural  resources,  and  most  of  its  estimated 
population  of  5.6  million  earn  a  bare  subsistence  as  herdsmen 
or  farmers.   The  country's  economy  has  suffered  from  periodic 
drought  and  overcentralization.   Recurrent  conflict  with 
Ethiopia  has  entailed  heavy  defense  expenditures  and  a  massive 
refugee  problem.   However,  since  1983  the  Government  has  been 
introducing  new  policies  to  encourage  development  of  the  small 
private  sector  and  to  initiate  economic  reforms  with  the 
assistance  of  a  variety  of  donors,  including  the  International 
Monetary  Fund,  the  World  Bank,  and  the  Agency  for  International 
Development.   These  reforms  have  had  salutary  effects  on 
production  and  exports  and  have  also  lowered  the  inflation 
rate.   In  August  1987,  however,  popular  riots  occurred  in 
protests  against  fuel  shortages  and  a  rise  in  transportation 
fares.   The  President,  in  subsequent  policy  statements, 
appeared  to  be  having  second  thoughts  about  the  reforms,  seeing 
some  liability  in  market-determined  food  prices  and  foreign 
exchange  rates. 

There  was  no  significant  change  in  Somalia's  human  rights 
situation  in  1987.   Civil  and  political  rights  remain  tightly 
circumscribed;  however,  while  public  criticism  of  the 
Government  is  not  allowed,  Somalia  are  less  reluctant  to  speak 
openly  in  private  conversations  about  dissatisfaction  with 
government  policies.   The  Government  shows  little  hesitation  to 
imprison  those  it  sees  as  a  threat  to  security.   Two  antiregime 
organizations,  the  Somali  National  Movement  (SNM)  and  the 
Somali  Democratic  Salvation  Front  (SDSF) ,  operate  out  of 
Ethiopia  and  periodically  conduct  military  attacks  against 
Somali  government  and  army  establishments,  primarily  in 
northern  Somalia. 


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RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.  Political  Killing 

It  is  difficult  to  obtain  information  on  possible  political 
killings,  especially  in  the  wake  of  periodic  fighting  between 
antigovernment  and  government  forces.   Opposition  groups  were 
responsible  for  some  deaths  or  woundings  of  civilians  in  the 
course  of  their  attacks  on  government  establishments, 
particularly  in  the  North.   A  Somali  National  Security  Service 
official  was  assassinated  in  December  1986  while  sitting  in  a 
public  cafe  in  Hargeisa.   While  the  opposition's  avowed  targets 
are  the  military,  tactics  involve  use  of  land  mines,  which  have 
injured  some  civilians. 

Although  a  number  of  death  sentences  have  been  issued  by  the 
National  Security  Court,  from  whose  decisions  there  is  no  right 
of  appeal,  there  were  no  credible  reports  in  1987  that  any  of 
the  defendants  were  actually  executed.   The  Somali  President 
can  and  has  pardoned  or  reduced  sentences  of  persons  convicted 
by  the  National  Security  Court.   There  have  been  reports  of 
extralegal  or  summary  executions  of  alleged  dissidents, 
especially  in  the  North,  but  it  is  difficult  to  obtain 
corroborating  information  due  to  the  periodic  fighting. 

b.  Disappearance 

There  were  no  reported  cases  of  unexplained  disappearance.   SNM 
dissidents  kidnaped  10  French  doctors  and  an  Ethiopian  refugee 
in  January  from  the  Tug  Wajale  refugee  camp  but  later  released 
them  in  Ethiopia  to  French  authorities. 

c.  Torture  and  Other  Cruel,  Inhuman,  or  Degrading 
Treatment  or  Punishment 

There  are  recurring  reports  of  the  use  of  torture  by  police  and 
security  officials,  including  immersion  in  sea  water,  beatings, 
rape,  and  placing  prisoners  in  contorted  positions  for  extended 
periods.   Somali  officials  consistently  deny  that  torture  is 
practiced.   Authorities  routinely  use  rough  treatment  in  order 
to  obtain  confessions  from  criminal  suspects.   Somali  prisons 
are  unsanitary  and  living  conditions  are  difficult.   Some 
political  detainees  are  held  incommunicado  for  various  lengths 
of  time,  reportedly  in  harsh  conditions  in  maximum  security 
prisons  where  they  are  denied  contact  with  their  families,  and, 
in  some  cases,  kept  in  solitary  confinement.   However,  upon 
release  from  prison,  some  political  prisoners  have  been 
restored  to  their  old  government  jobs  or  have  had  new  jobs 
created  for  them.   In  its  1987  report,  Amnesty  International 
(AI)  expressed  concern  about  reports  of  ill-treatment  and 
torture  of  political  prisoners.   Police  behavior  has  sometimes 
been  rough  in  other  contexts.   At  the  National  Day  parade  in 
October,  overzealous  security  forces  beat  some  spectators  and 
fired  a  few  shots,  but  there  were  no  casualties. 

d.  Arbitrary  Arrest,  Detention,  Exile,  or  Forced  Labor 

Despite  constitutional  provisions  that  accord  Somali  citizens 
the  right  to  formal  charges  and  a  speedy  trial,  the  criminal 
procedure  code  was  modified  in  1970  to  exempt  crimes  involving 
national  security  from  specific  time  limits  and  rules  of 
procedure.   Those  arrested  for  expression  of  critical  views  of 


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the  Government  may  be  charged  with  crimes  against  the  State, 
such  as  sedition  and  conspiracy  against  the  State,  and  held 
indefinitely  without  being  brought  to  trial.   The  National 
Security  Service  is  empowered  to  arrest  without  a  warrant 
anyone  suspected  of  a  crime  involving  national  security.   There 
is  no  provision  for  bail  in  any  but  minor  cases  before  the 
National  Security  Court. 

Estimates  of  the  number  of  political  detainees  range  from  300 
to  800,  of  whom  at  least  200  are  being  held  without  charge. 
Some  reports  indicate  this  number  is  much  higher,  allegedly  due 
to  mass  arrests  in  the  North  in  the  wake  of  the  conflict 
between  the  army  and  the  SNM.   AI's  latest  report  recalls  that 
among  those  held  without  charge  are  a  politician  and  lawyer 
detained  without  trial  since  1975  and  several  army  officers 
detained  since  1978.   Several  persons  detained  since  1982  will 
be  tried  early  in  1988  (see  below).   AI's  report,  as  well  as 
other  sources,  claim  that  Somalia  is  holding  without  trial  at 
Hawai  prison  several  hundred  Ethiopian  civilians  reportedly 
captured  by  Somali  forces  in  the  1977-78  Ogaden  War.   The 
Government  provides  no  information  about  the  number  of 
detainees . 

Six  former  Members  of  Parliament  arrested  in  1982,  including 
one  former  Vice  President  and  four  Cabinet  members  (two  of  whom 
were  founders  of  the  current  regime),  were  formally  charged  in 
1987  with  "high  treason."   The  Government  announced  that  these 
persons  will  be  brought  to  trial  in  February  1988  and  permitted 
legal  counsel.   A  seventh  Member  of  Parliament  detained  with 
this  group  died  in  prison  in  1983  allegedly  due  to  medical 
neglect.   There  are  reports  that  other  political  detainees  will 
also  be  tried  in  1988. 

The  Government  does  not  practice  exile.   In  1986  President  Siad 
Barre  publicly  offered  amnesty  to  dissidents  abroad  who  wished 
to  return  to  Somalia.   Compulsory  labor  is  not  permitted  under 
Somali  law.   However,  the  Government  and  the  party  occasionally 
organize  campaigns  in  which  "voluntary"  labor  is  used  in  street 
cleaning  or  temporarily  in  state-run  factories.   Prisoners  may 
perform  labor  as  part  of  their  penal  servitude. 

e.   Denial  of  Fair  Public  Trial 

The  Somali  judicial  system  includes  civil  and  criminal  courts, 
headed  by  the  Supreme  Court  and  a  separate  National  Security 
Court,  which  is  not  independent  from  the  executive  and  is  in 
session  almost  weekly.   Lawyers  are  permitted  to  represent 
suspects  before  the  National  Security  Court,  but  proceedings 
are  not  always  open  to  the  public.   In  contrast,  the  civil  and 
criminal  courts  are  conducted  openly.   Although  nominally 
independent,  the  judiciary  is  in  fact  not  distinguishable  as  an 
institution  from  the  executive,  which  reviews  and  controls 
judicial  decisions.   All  judges  in  the  Supreme  Court  and  lower 
courts  are  appointed  by  the  President  with  the  advice  of  the 
Higher  Judicial  Council,  of  which  the  President  is  the  chairman. 
The  right  to  appeal  exists  in  criminal  and  civil  cases,  but  not 
in  cases  heard  by  the  National  Security  Court.   In  the  civil 
and  criminal  courts,  legal  assistance  is  provided,  and  there 
are  established  rules  of  evidence.   There  are  no  religious 
courts  in  Somalia.   In  certain  civil  proceedings  relating  to 
family  matters,  such  as  marriage  and  inheritance,  the  judge  may 
cite  prevailing  Islamic  Shari'a  law  in  rendering  decisions. 

In  1986  there  were  some  arrests  of  Islamic  religious  figures, 
made  on  the  basis  of  the  Government's  suspicions  that  they  were 


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dissidents,  not  because  of  their  religious  activities.   In 
particular,  the  Government  arbitrarily  arrested  nine  Islamic 
clerics  and  accused  them,  among  other  things,  of  using  religion 
to  incite  people  against  the  security  of  the  State.   The  nine 
were  tried  and  sentenced  to  death  by  the  National  Security 
Court,  but  their  sentences  were  commuted  to  life  imprisonment 
in  August  1987.   While  these  clerics  were  reported  to  be 
radical  Shi'a,  they  were  more  likely  Sunni  fundamentalists. 

f.   Arbitrary  Interference  with  Privacy,  Family,  Home,  or 
Correspondence 

"Mobilization  campaigns"  are  organized  by  the  Somali 
Revolutionary  Socialist  Party  to  promote  public  participation 
in,  and  enthusiasm  for,  various  civic  and  national  programs,  as 
well  as  general  support  for  government  policies.   Participation 
in  these  campaigns  is  urged  but  not  strictly  enforced. 
Military  press  gangs  are  often  used  to  provide  "recruits"  for 
the  army.   The  National  Security  Service  uses  its  authority  to 
search  homes  without  warrants.   This  authority  extends  to 
monitoring  communications  and  opening  mail,  although  there  is 
no  evidence  that  such  practices  are  broadly  used.   The  NSS  can 
effectively  track  the  movements  of  persons  through  its 
comprehensive  network  of  informants. 

Section  2   Respect  for  Civil  Liberties,  Including: 

a.  Freedom  of  Speech  and  Press 

The  Government  does  not  allow  public  expression  of  dissenting 
views  and  owns  and  operates  the  media.   There  is  one  weekly 
newspaper,  published  in  Arabic  and  Italian,  which  is  privately 
owned  but  hews  to  the  government  line  by  practicing  self- 
censorship.   The  press  disseminates  only  information  and 
opinion  acceptable  to  the  Government.   The  Central  Censorship 
Board  retains  control  over  all  media  (foreign  and  local), 
including  publications  circulated  within  the  country--f i 1ms , 
plays,  concerts,  lectures,  and  other  means  of  communication, 
such  as  videotapes,  whether  imported  or  produced  in  Somalia. 
Members  of  the  press  exercise  self -censorship,  and  there  have 
been  no  reports  of  detention  of  journalists.   In  the  past,  some 
Italian  publications  have  been  banned,  as  well  as  the  quarterly 
journal  Horn  of  Africa  published  in  New  Jersey  by  expatriate 
Somali  and  Ethiopian  intellectuals. 

b.  Freedom  of  Peaceful  Assembly  and  Association 

All  nonreligious  organizations  and  public  gatherings  are 
subject  to  government  control  or  supervision.   Protest  meetings 
against  government  policies  are  not  permitted.   In  April  1986, 
a  short-lived  rally  in  favor  of  the  imposition  of  the  Islamic 
Shari'a  law  resulted  in  the  arrest  of  nearly  100  participants. 

The  country's  single  labor  confederation,  the  General 
Federation  of  Somali  Trade  Unions  (GFSTU) ,  is  government 
controlled.   The  head  of  the  GFSTU  is  appointed  by  the 
Government.   Its  members  do  not  have  the  right  to  strike. 
There  have  been  no  strikes  since  the  1969  revolution. 
Organizing  a  strike  is  legally  punishable  by  the  death 
penalty.   However,  no  trade  union  official  has  been  punished  by 
fine,  imprisonment,  or  death  for  violating  the  antistrike  law. 
The  GFSTU" s  main  function  is  to  monitor  the  work  force  and 
provide  a  conduit  for  worker  grievances.   The  GFSTU  is  a  member 
of  the  Organization  of  African  Trade  Union  Unity  and  the 


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International  Confederation  of  Arab  Trade  Unions,  and 
participates  in  the  International  Labor  Organization. 

c.  Freedom  of  Religion 

Islam  is  the  state  religion,  and  nearly  100  percent  of  the 
population  is  Muslim,  predominantly  of  the  Sunni  sect.   The 
Government  monitors  the  topics  of  sermons  preached  in  the 
mosques  and  occasionally  will  arrest  a  religious  leader  whose 
text  strays  too  far  into  political  areas.   Since  1986  the 
Government  has  appointed  all  imams.   Activities  of  those  who 
openly  wear  conservative  Islamic  dress  or  who  were  educated  in 
religious  schools  in  Saudi  Arabia  are  closely  monitored  by 
Somali  security  forces. 

The  Government  has  arrested  Somalis  and  deported  expatriates 
for  Muslim  Brotherhood  activities,  but  contends  that  the 
Brotherhood,  which  seeks  to  apply  Islamic  tenets  to  politics, 
is  a  secular,  not  a  religious,  organization.   Somalis  are  free 
to  participate  in  the  hajj,  and  many  do  so  annually.   Members 
of  other  religions  may  practice  their  faiths  freely,  but 
proselytizing  is  not  permitted. 

d.  Freedom  of  Movement  Within  the  Country,  Foreign 
Travel,  Emigration,  and  Repatriation 

Internal  travel  is  not  formally  restricted  but  is  controlled 
through  police  and  military  checkpoints  in  towns,  border  areas, 
and  regions  noted  for  interclan  violence.   Since  the  December 
1986  murder  of  the  chief  security  officer  of  the  northern 
region,  the  Government  has  imposed  travel  restrictions  on 
Somali  citizens  in  that  region  including  an  8  p.m. to  5  a.m. 
curfew  in  Hargeisa.   There  have  been  reports  that  Somali 
soldiers  and  police  frequently  harass  travelers  in  and  out  of 
the  capital  city. 

Although  any  Somali  citizen  can  obtain  a  passport,  the 
Government  denies  exit  visas  to  categories  of  young  people, 
such  as  young  men  of  military  age  and  those  under  police 
surveillance.   Emigration  is  permitted  for  all  but  government 
employees.   Somalis  who  have  gone  abroad  are  not  prevented  from 
returning.   Those  who  have  been  involved  in  dissident 
activities  against  the  regime  may  face  questioning  or 
imprisonment  upon  their  return.   However,  some  dissidents  who 
have  renounced  their  opposition  to  the  regime  have  been 
welcomed  back  and  provided  with  government  jobs. 

Somalia  provides  a  home  to  a  much-disputed  number  of  refugees 
from  Ethiopia.   The  Somali  Government  officially  welcomes 
refugees  to  stay  or  to  return  to  Ethiopia  as  they  wish. 
Estimates  range  from  the  Government's  figure  of  800,000  down  to 
350,000.   A  majority  are  ethnic  Somalis,  but  Oromos  (both 
Muslim  and  Christian)  constitute  an  important  minority.   The 
Oromos  who  fled  to  Somalia  generally  stated  that  they  were 
fleeing  from  the  Ethiopian  Government's  "villagization"  and 
collectivization  policies.   These  recent  arrivals,  like  other 
non-Somalis  displaced  into  Somalia,  are  not  allowed  to 
assimilate  into  the  Somali  population.   Logistics  and 
resettlement  problems  present  obstacles  to  voluntary 
repatriation.   As  of  August  30,  3,137  refugees  had  officially 
returned  to  Ethiopia  under  the  auspices  of  the  United  Nations 
High  Commissioner  for  Refugees,  although  many  more  may  have 
returned  on  their  own. 


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Section  3   Respect  for  Political  Rights:   The  Right  of  Citizens 
to  Change  Their  Government 

President  Siad  Barre  rules  Somalia  and  controls  political 
participation  through  the  single  legal  political  party,  the 
Somali  Revolutionary  Socialist  Party.   Citizens  cannot  change 
the  one-party  system,  and  therefore  cannot  change  the  party  in 
power.   The  party  directs  participation  in  Somali  political 
affairs  through  organizations  such  as  the  General  Federation  of 
Somali  Trade  Unions,  the  Somali  Women's  Democratic  Organization, 
and  the  Somali  Revolutionary  Youth  Organization.   Voting  for  the 
People's  Assembly  entails  only  a  vote  for  or  against  the  party's 
national  slate,  although  one  need  not  necessarily  be  a  member  of 
the  party  to  be  included  as  a  candidate  pn  the  slate.   President 
Siad  Barre  was  the  sole  candidate  for  the  presidency  in  the 
election  held  on  December  23,  1986.   There  is  no  legal 
opposition  to  the  Government,  and  public  criticism  of  its 
policies  is  forbidden. 

Somalia  has  only  one  indigenous  ethnic  group,  the  Somali,  which 
is  subdivided  into  clans  and  clan-groups.   Although  the  country 
is  ethnically  and  linguistically  homogeneous,  clan  divisions 
have  a  great  impact  on  domestic  politics.   While  officially 
outlawing  "tribalism,"  President  Siad  recognizes  the  continuing 
strength  of  the  traditional,  clan-based  political  coalitions 
and  uses  clan  politics  as  a  means  of  maintaining  his  rule. 
Government  officials  frequently  hold  formal  and  informal 
consultations  with  various  clan  leaders.   Clan  identification 
is  very  strong,  and  for  many  Somalis,  the  traditional  clan 
system  is  the  accepted  vehicle  of  political  expression.   Clan 
politics  and  clan  rivalries  occasionally  erupt  into  violence. 
Tension  was  high  in  May  1987  between  Marehans  and  Ogadenis  in 
Kismayo  when  a  Marehan  army  officer  shot  and  killed  an  Ogadeni 
youth.   Some  members  of  the  Issak  clan  of  the  North  actively 
support  the  insurgency  of  the  antigovernment  SNM.   Other  Issaks 
are  themselves  members  of  the  government  bureaucracy  or  the 
military.   Loyalty  or  opposition  to  the  Government  can  thus  cut 
across  clan  lines  and  create  complex  political  patterns. 

Women  and  minorities  participate  in  politics  and  government, 
but  they  wield  little  power.   A  number  of  women  are  members  of 
the  People's  Assembly,  and  several  are  vice  ministers.   Other 
women  occupy  relatively  senior  positions  in  various  ministries, 
and  one  holds  an  ambassadorship.   The  Somali  Women's  Democratic 
Organization  has  in  the  past  advocated  greater  political 
participation  and  mobilization  for  women,  although  it  has  been 
dismissed  by  some  Somalis  as  a  vehicle  of  the  party  for 
mobilizing  women  in  support  of  government  policies  and  the 
status  quo  on  issues  involving  women. 

Section  4   Governmental  Attitude  Regarding  International  and 

Nongovernmental  Investigation  of  Alleged  Violations 
of  Human  Rights 

In  the  past,  the  Government  has  generally  not  replied  to 
inquires  by  human  rights  organizations  such  as  Amnesty 
International,  although  it  responded  to  an  inquiry  on  prisoners 
from  the  National  Academy  of  Sciences  (NAS)  Committee  on  Human 
rights.   It  also  permitted  a  visit  of  inquiry  (first  requested 
in  1985)  by  the  NAS  Human  Rights  Committee  in  October  1987. 
NAS  will  publish  a  report  of  its  findings  in  1988.   The 
Government  has  not  responded  to  international  requests,  e.g., 
from  the  International  Parliamentary  Union,  to  release  the  six 
parliamentarians  who  have  been  detained  without  charge  since 
1982,  but  it  set  a  trial  date  for  them  in  February  1988. 


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The  Government  has  refused  requests  by  foreign  officials  and 
human  rights  organizations  to  visit  political  prisoners,  but  it 
permits  the  International  Committee  of  the  Red  Cross  (ICRC) 
representative  in  Mogadishu  to  visit  to  some  Ethiopian  prisoners 
of  war  from  the  1977-78  Ogaden  conflict.   However,  there  are 
many  Ethiopian  prisoners  of  war  to  whom  the  Government  has  not 
permitted  access.   The  Somalis  require  that  government  witnesses 
be  present  at  ICRC  interviews.   There  has  been  no  repatriation 
or  exchange  of  these  prisoners  of  war,  although  Somalia  proposed 
a  modest  exchange  with  Ethiopia  in  1986. 

There  are  no  Somali  organizations  which  actively  address  human 
rights  issues.   In  international  forums,  official  Somali  remarks 
on  human  rights  are  usually  restricted  to  general  statements  and 
criticism  of  practices  in  Ethiopia.   There  are  indications  that 
discreet  local  inquiries  may  have  a  positive  impact  in 
encouraging  the  Government  to  improve  its  record  in  this  regard. 

Section  5   Discrimination  Based  on  Race,  Sex,  Religion, 
Language,  or  Social  Status 

While  there  is  no  overt  discrimination  in  the  distribution  of 
economic  benefits  among  the  various  clans  and  clan-groups  in 
Somalia,  members  of  certain  clans  and  some  individuals 
capitalize  on  their  political  connections  in  the  Government. 
There  is  no  discrimination  regarding  access  to  education  and 
health  services  on  clan  or  ethnic  bases,  although  these  social 
services  are  generally  available  only  in  larger  urban  areas  of 
the  country. 

While  they  have  considerable  inheritance  and  ownership  rights, 
Somali  women  suffer  from  traditional  discrimination  in  work  and 
family  matters.   Long-established  practices,  such  as  female 
circumcision,  remain  prevalent  despite  government  opposition. 
The  payment  of  dowry  and  bride  wealth  are  common  in  marriage 
rituals.   Divorce  laws  and  practices  strongly  favor  the  male 
partner . 

CONDITIONS  OF  LABOR 

Somalia  has  comprehensive  labor  legislation  which  establishes 
minimum  safety  and  health  conditions  for  the  workplace.   These 
are  applicable  to  the  small  modern,  or  cash,  sector  of  an 
economy  that  is  predominantly  pastoral  and  agricultural.   The 
minimum  age  for  employment  of  children  is  15,  and  persons  under 
18  years  of  age  are  not  permitted  to  work  at  night  or  in 
certain  hazardous  occupations.   However,  the  legislation  is  not 
effectively  implemented.   Also,  on  the  margins  of  the  formal 
economy,  children  sell  cigarettes  on  the  street,  carry  bags  in 
the  market,  and  watch  and  clean  cars  to  support  themselves  and 
supplement  family  incomes.   The  established  workday  is  8  hours 
a  day,  with  a  total  of  48  hours  per  week,  and  overtime  hours 
can  be  limited.   Workers  are  entitled  to  paid  holidays,  annual 
leave,  and  holiday  bonuses.   However,  the  salary  scale  is 
extremely  low,  especially  in  the  public  sector.   The  average 
salary  of  a  civil  servant  is  roughly  $15  per  month.   Workers 
resort  to  second  jobs,  corruption,  assistance  from  other  family 
members,  and  remittances  from  abroad  to  support  themselves  and 
their  families.   Productivity  in  the  public  sector  is  extremely 
low,  and  many  civil  servants  make  minimal  appearances  in  their 
offices.   A  civil  service  reform  program,  aimed  at  reducing 
public  sector  jobs  by  attrition  and  boosting  salaries,  has  been 
initiated. 


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South  Africa's  laws  codify  the  doctrine  of  apartheid,  which 
prescribes  the  basic  rights  and  obligations  of  people 
according  to  their  racial  or  ethnic  origin.   The  country's 
black  majority  (73.4  percent  of  its  population)  suffers  from 
pervasive,  legally  sanctioned  discrimination  based  on  race  in 
political,  economic,  and  social  aspects  of  life.   The 
"colored"  (mixed-race)  and  Asian  minorities  (9.1  percent  and 
2.8  percent  of  the  population  respectively)  also  suffer  from 
extensive  racial  discrimination,  although  to  a  somewhat  lesser 
degree  than  South  Africa's  black  population.   While  the 
Government  claims  that  South  Africa  is  a  parliamentary 
democracy,  blacks  continue  to  be  denied  the  right  to  vote  in 
national  elections  and  to  be  represented  in  Parliament.   Until 
1984  South  Africa's  national  political  institutions  were 
reserved  for  whites  (14.7  percent  of  the  population).   A  new 
Constitution  was  implemented  in  1984  that  created  a  tricameral 
Parliament  with  separate  chambers  for  whites,  coloreds,  and 
Asians.   The  terms  of  the  Constitution  ensure  continued 
parliamentary  control  by  whites  over  key  affairs.   In 
addition,  the  executive  branch  (headed  by  a  State  President 
with  strong  powers)  continues  to  be  dominated  by  whites. 

White  control  of  the  Government  is  backed  by  a  powerful 
defense  and  police  establishment,  especially  the  South  African 
Defense  Force  (SADF) ,  with  over  95,000  active  duty  personnel 
and  nearly  400,000  reservists,  and  the  South  African  Police 
(SAP),  with  56,000  members.   In  recent  years  the  SADF  has  been 
used  to  assist  the  SAP  in  internal  security  matters, 
especially  in  patrolling  the  black  townships.   The  National 
Security  Management  System  (NSMS),  established  to  coordinate 
intelligence  services  and  government  departments,  has  assumed 
greater  influence  in  the  last  few  years  over  several  aspects 
of  government  policy  designed  to  minimize  black  discontent, 
including  setting  levels  of  state  of  emergency  detentions  as 
well  as  providing  development  assistance  and  social  services. 
Critics  maintained  that  the  NSMS,  staffed  primarily  by  police 
and  military  officials,  was  developing  into  a  "parallel 
government,"  accountable  only  to  the  cabinet-level  State 
Security  Council.   During  1987  the  Government  also  increased 
specia]  black  security  forces  known  as  "instant  police"  and  in 
some  cases  gave  tacit  support  to  conservative  black  vigilante 
groups . 

Central  to  the  policy  of  separate,  racially  based  political 
institutions  was  the  creation,  beginning  in  the  1950's,  of  10 
"homelands"  to  which  all  blacks  were  assigned  on  the  basis  of 
ethnic  background.   These  homelands  comprise  only  13  percent 
of  South  Africa's  area  and  are  often  small,  fragmented  bits  of 
land  in  impoverished  rural  areas.   Since  1976  the  Government 
has  granted  "independence"  to  four  homelands,  thereby  forcibly 
stripping  an  estimated  8  million  South  African  blacks  of  their 
South  African  citizenship.   In  1987  it  underscored  its 
determination  to  move  ahead  with  this  policy  by  continuing  to 
incorporate  more  black  residential  areas  into  these 
homelands.   South  Africa  is  the  only  country  that  has 
recognized  the  "independence"  of  these  homelands.   Since  the 
late  1970's,  the  Government  has  sought  to  introduce  gradual 
and  piecemeal  reforms  that  ameliorate  some  aspects  of 
apartheid  but  do  not  threaten  continued  white  control  of  the 
nation's  key  political  structures.   At  the  same  time,  black 
opposition  to  apartheid  has  increased  dramatically.   This  was 
especially  so  after  the  creation  of  the  tricameral  Parliament 
in  1984,  which  was  seen  as  an  attempt  by  the  Government  to 
freeze  blacks  out  of  national  political  participation.   The 


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Government  has  reacted  since  1985  with  increasingly  stringent 
restrictions  on  individuals'  rights  and  repression  of 
organized  black  opposition. 

Many  apartheid  laws  discriminate  against  blacks  in  housing, 
employment,  and  education,  serving  to  perpetuate  an  unusually 
high  income  disparity  between  whites  and  blacks.   Starting  in 
1984,  a  serious  economic  downturn  aggravated  the  suffering  of 
black  South  Africans  and  was  a  significant  factor  in  fueling 
political  unrest.   In  1987  the  overall  economic  situation 
improved,  with  indicators  suggesting  an  annual  real  growth 
rate  of  about  2  to  3  percent  over  the  next  2  years.   However, 
local  economists  have  estimated  that  an  annual  real  growth 
rate  above  5  percent  is  necessary  for  the  economy  to  absorb 
the  roughly  300,000  black  entrants  to  the  labor  market  each 
year.   An  even  higher  rate  of  growth  would  be  necessary  to 
reduce  present  black  unemployment,  which  many  private 
observers  estimate  at  25  to  30  percent,  and  as  high  as  70 
percent  in  some  areas. 

The  human  rights  situation  in  South  Africa  continued  to 
deteriorate  in  1987.   A  state  of  emergency,  imposed  in  1986 
and  giving  police  and  military  extraordinary  arrest  and 
detention  powers,  was  renewed  in  June  1987.   The  Government 
also  rewrote  many  of  the  emergency  regulations  in  1987  to 
"close  the  loopholes"  and  make  it  more  difficult  for  the 
judiciary  to  intervene  in  questions  relating  to  the  state  of 
emergency.   The  Government  has  used  these  powers  to  arrest  an 
estimated  30,000  people  since  June  1986.   The  United 
Democratic  Front  (UDF) ,  a  loosely  organized  national  movem.jnt 
of  more  than  600  antiapartheid  groups,  and  various  black  trade 
unions  have  been  special  targets  for  detention.   The 
Government  imposed  harsher  curbs  on  the  media  and  brought  its 
program  of  limited  reforms  to  a  virtual  halt. 

The  level  of  political  violence  apparently  declined  in  1987 
from  previous  years,  although  at  least  500  people  died  as  the 
result  of  such  violence  during  the  year.   The  shadowy  war 
between  South  African  security  forces  and  the  African  National 
Congress  (ANC)  escalated.   The  banned  ANC  is  headquartered  in 
exile  in  Lusaka,  Zambia,  while  many  of  its  leaders,  including 
Nelson  Mandela,  remain  in  long-term  imprisonment  in  South 
Africa.   Throughout  1987  a  number  of  bomb  blasts,  landmine 
explosions,  and  grenade  attacks  occurred  in  South  Africa,  many 
of  which  appeared  to  be  ANC  operations.   South  African 
security  forces  were  involved  in  raids,  bomb  attacks, 
abductions,  and  assassinations  directed  against  the  ANC  in 
various  neighboring  countries.   State  President  Botha  appealed 
throughout  the  year  for  black  leaders  to  enter  negotiations 
with  the  Government,  but  all  credible  black  leaders  maintained 
their  refusal  to  enter  talks  until  the  Government  met  certain 
conditions,  including  the  release  of  political  prisoners,  the 
removal  of  the  ban  on  all  political  organizations,  and  the 
lifting  of  the  state  of  emergency.   In  July  a  delegation  of 
prominent,  private,  white  South  African  citizens,  including 
Afrikaners,  traveled  to  Senegal  for  an  exchange  of  views  with 
leaders  of  the  ANC  on  the  future  of  South  Africa — the  first 
such  meeting  of  its  kind.   Throughout  the  year  there  were 
unconfirmed  rumors  of  contacts  between  government  officials 
and  external  ANC  leaders. 


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RESPECT  FOR  HUMAN  RIGHTS 

Section  1   Respect  for  the  Integrity  of  the  Person,  Including 
Freedom  from: 

a.   Political  Killing 

Political  violence  continued  to  plague  South  Africa  in  1987, 
though  apparently  at  reduced  levels  compared  to  the  1984-86 
period.   Due  to  restrictions  on  reporting  of  incidents  of 
unrest,  independent  statistics  on  the  number  of  deaths  related 
to  political  unrest  were  difficult  to  obtain.   The  Government 
asserted  that  such  deaths  have  declined  dramatically  since  the 
imposition  of  the  state  of  emergency  in  June  1986.   It 
claimed,  for  example,  that  in  May  1987,  8  blacks  died  in 
unrest-related  violence,  a  decrease  of  95  percent  from  the 
comparable  figure  of  157  deaths  in  May  1986.   Fragmentary 
statistics  based  on  the  Government's  daily  "unrest  reports" 
and  other  sources  indicated  that  at  least  500  people  died  in 
political  violence  during  the  year,  compared  to  1,289  deaths 
from  political  violence  in  1986. 

Most  of  the  deaths  in  1987  resulted  from  violence  within  the 
black  townships,  and  the  vast  majority  of  victims  were 
blacks.   Much  of  this  violence  resulted  from  fighting  betv;een 
political  factions.   Overall,  however,  violence  resulting  from 
political  strife  within  the  black  community  was  less  prevalent 
than  in  1986,  and  so-called  "necklace"  killings,  in  which  the 
victim  is  executed  by  a  burning  tire  placed  around  his  neck, 
declined  dramatically  in  1987.   This  was  mainly  due  to  the 
state  of  emergency  but  also  to  strong  discouragement  of  such 
acts  by  internal  and  external  black  political  groups, 
including  the  ANC.   Fragmentary  statistics  indicated  deaths 
resulting  from  necklacing  declined  from  the  hundreds  in  1986 
to  perhaps  no  more  than  a  dozen  in  1987. 

Many  other  deaths  were  the  result  of  excessive  use  of  force  by 
police,  who  sometimes  quelled  demonstrations  with  live 
ammunition,  tear  gas,  birdshot,  hard  rubber  clubs,  or  rubber 
bullets.   In  April  six  people  were  killed  when  police  fired  on 
a  demonstration  of  striking  railroad  workers.   During  1987  the 
Government  augmented  security  forces  by  accelerating  the 
recruitment  of  "Kitsconstabels"  ("instant  police"--cal led  that 
because  their  training  periods  were  short);  these  special 
police  constables  were  first  introduced  in  the  black  townships 
in  1986.   Government  critics  charge  that  they  have  been 
responsible  for  numerous  abuses.   In  February  four  people  were 
shot  and  killed  by  Kitsconstabels  in  Grahamstown. 

Several  deaths  of  persons  in  police  custody  occurred  during 
the  year,  at  least  two  of  which  appeared  to  be  execution-style 
killings.   In  July  ANC  member  Ashley  Kriel  was  killed  by 
police  in  a  Cape  Town  home.   An  autopsy  revealed  that  he  had 
been  shot  in  the  back  at  point-blank  range.   In  August  Caiphus 
Nyoka,  a  high  school  student  leader,  was  killed  by  police 
during  a  nighttime  raid  on  his  home  in  Daveyton,  even  though 
he  had  apparently  offered  no  resistance.   He  had  been  shot  in 
the  forehead  at  close  range.   At  the  end  of  1987,  the 
Government  had  failed  to  provide  any  explanation  or  order  any 
investigation  in  regard  to  Nyoka's  death. 

In  1987  a  series  of  court  cases  or  out-of-court  settlements 
also  revealed  police  excesses.   In  February  a  member  of  the 
SAP  was  sentenced  to  8  years'  imprisonment  for  the  "unprovoked 
and  unnecessary"  killing  of  a  black  youth  in  1986.   The 


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policeman  had  ordered  the  youth  to  run  away  and  had  then  shot 
him  as  he  ran.   In  April  a  court  ruled  that  policemen  in  the 
Lebowa  homeland  were  responsible  for  the  April  1986  torture 
and  deaths  of  two  detainees.  Lucky  Kutumela,  a  journalist  and 
member  of  the  Azanian  People's  Organization  (AZAPO) ,  and  Peter 
Nchabaleng,  a  Transvaal  provincial  official  of  the  UDF.   The 
postmortem  report  on  Nchabaleng  concluded  that  he  died  after 
multiple  blows  with  sticks  or  similar  objects.   An  inquest 
magistrate  found  no  one  criminally  liable  for  the  1985  death 
in  police  custody  of  trade  unionist  Andries  Raditsela,  but  the 
Government  agreed  to  pay  compensation  to  Raditsela's  family. 
In  July  the  Government  agreed  to  pay  $650,000  to  51  people  who 
were  wounded  or  whose  relatives  were  killed  in  the  March  1985 
massacre  of  20  blacks  in  the  Langa  township  outside 
Uitenhage.   Many  of  the  victims,  who  had  been  demonstrating 
while  on  their  way  to  a  funeral,  had  been  shot  in  the  back. 
In  September  a  Cape  Town  court  exonerated  two  police  officers, 
even  though  they  had  admitted  shooting  a  young  girl  who  had 
been  watching  police  quell  an  antiapartheid  demonstration. 
The  court  excused  them  on  the  basis  that  they  were  following 
the  orders  of  a  superior  (who  was  not  charged) .   In  October 
the  trial  began  in  the  Eastern  Cape  Supreme  Court  of  two 
policemen  accused  of  murdering  two  black  youths  in  Cradock, 
near  Port  Elizabeth.   According  to  eyewitness  testimony,  one 
of  the  youths,  Mlungisi  Stuurman,  who  was  arrested  for  wearing 
an  antiapartheid  shirt,  was  tortured  in  a  police  van  with  a 
plastic  bag,  beaten,  and  then  shot  in  the  back  of  the  neck. 

The  most  serious  violence  resulting  from  political  factional 
fighting  in  1987  took  place  in  Natal.   In  particular,  clashes 
between  UDF  supporters  and  Inkatha  members,  who  support 
KwaZulu  Chief  Mangosuthu  Buthelezi,  resulted  in  at  least  268 
deaths  during  the  year  in  the  Pietermaritzburg  area.   The 
violence  around  Pietermaritzburg  accelerated  beginning  in 
September,  and  efforts  by  several  groups  to  mediate  an  end  to 
the  violence  were  unsuccesful  as  of  the  end  of  1987. 

In  addition,  as  a  significant  minority  of  blacks  in  South 
Africa  espouse  or  condone  violent  opposition  to  apartheid, 
there  were  instances  of  violence  and  intimidation  against 
blacks  who  were  not  complying  with  such  protest  activities  as 
school  or  rent  boycotts  and  strikes.   Attacks  by  radical 
blacks  on  township  government  officials,  black  policemen,  and 
other  suspected  "collaborators"  continued,  though  at  a  lower 
rate  than  in  1986.   The  ANC  helped  fuel  this  violence  since  it 
continued  to  call  on  blacks  to  attack  these  so-called 
collaborators.   The  Government  emphasized  such  intimidation  as 
a  justification  for  repressive  actions  against  members  of 
trade  unions  and  community  organizations. 

The  Government  also  cited  this  intimidation  as  justification 
for  support  of,  or  in  some  cases  acquiescence  in,  the 
activities  of  black  vigilante  groups.   These  groups  were 
formed  by  conservatives  for  the  ostensible  purpose  of  ensuring 
neighborhood  safety.   In  1987  their  activities  increased  as 
they  engaged  in  armed  attacks  on  dissidents  and  squatter 
communities.   In  some  cases,  the  police  assisted  or  stood 
aside  during  such  attacks  and  the  victims  usually  received  no 
help  from  the  police.   In  January  a  crowd  of  1,500  armed 
vigilantes  attacked  UDF  activists  near  Uitenhage  while  police 
looked  on.   Several  eyewitnesses  reported  that  police  were 
directing  the  crowd  of  vigilantes  to  the  homes  of  UDF 
activists.   The  vigilantes  ransacked  the  homes  and  burned  the 
possessions  of  the  activists  in  the  street.   In  May  and  June, 
four  UDF  activists  died  in  vigilante  attacks  in  the  Eastern 


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Cape.   UDF  supporters  in  Natal  came  under  increasing  attack 
during  the  year  from  vigilantes.   In  July  four  UDF  supporters 
were  killed  by  vigilantes  near  Pietermar itzburg .   In  the 
Lebowa  homeland,  there  were  reports  that  a  vigilante  group  had 
been  formed  by  the  homeland's  ruling  party  to  attack 
dissidents.   In  the  homeland  of  KwaNdebele,  the  proindependence 
Mbokotho  vigilante  organization  continued  its  violent  campaign 
against  the  opponents  of  independence. 

One  example  of  the  Government's  support  for  vigilan